Air China expects to save around US$8 million a year in fuel costs using payload and live weather update technology from air transport IT specialist, SITA. Following extensive trials on its international routes, Air China has deployed SITA’s FMS Wind Uplink service on all international and domestic routes to constantly update key weather information for flight management system (FMS) calculations while en route. This enables the crew to adjust its flight path in-flight according to changing wind and weather conditions, so the aircraft uses fuel as cost effectively as possible.
Lu Yun-Guo, senior manager of operation technology, Air China, said: “We started trialing SITA’s Wind Uplink service in early 2013 and have already significantly lowered our fuel bills. In just six months, we saved close toUS$2 million, and that was with implementation across only part of our fleet. We anticipate that our annual savings across our entire fleet will be in the region of US$8 million. Crew feedback has been excellent as well. I’m proud to say that Air China is the first airline to use this technology in China as part of our continuous innovation efforts.”
With SITA’s Wind Uplink service, the aircraft’s FMS can constantly analyse weather conditions on the route ahead to determine optimum altitude, fuel burn and arrival-time predictions. This helps reduce fuel consumption.