Save Gas: Fly Slower

We have a thing for slow travel, but until now, we didn’t really think it could effectively involve planes. But that might change: Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) recently announced that, in an attempt to cut its carbon emissions and reduce their gas expenses, they’ve opted to fly slower. Reuters reports:

SAS said on Tuesday it has reduced the cruising speed of its passenger jets to about 780 kilometers (485 miles) per hour from 860 kph. The test project, run by SAS’s Norwegian unit, has saved it an estimated $12 million in fuel since early 2006.

Since testing their policy, they’ve implemented it on all of their flights. So now, a jaunt from Oslo to Bergen, Norway would save 130 kg (287 pounds) of fuel and 420 kg (926 pounds) of carbon emissions. And the difference in time it takes to arrive? Only three minutes. Considering that that’s usually the amount of time we spend waiting for the food cart to make its way back to our aisle, we don’t think the extra time would bother us that much. And in order to ensure that they can make up for the lost time, they’re going to, gasp!, ask people to board the planes earlier. Being on time? And more earth friendly? I can handle that.

SAS is apparently also looking to spruce up its “green” image by allowing customers to opt to offset their CO2 count when they purchase their tickets. The entire SAS Group is also hoping to reduce its carbon output by 20 percent by the year 2020.  You might say they have 20/20 vision.

Photo: Scandinavian Airlines

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