Airlines reduce size of spoons to save fuel during recession

In the United States, Northwest Airlines has excluded spoons from its cutlery pack if the in-flight meal does not require one.

It is not alone, according to Paul Steele, director of the environment at IATA.

Another carrier, JAL of Japan, took everything it loaded from a 747 and put it on the floor of a school gym to see what it really needed.

As a result it shaved a fraction of a centimetre off all its cutlery to cut weight.

“When you are talking about a jumbo jet with 400 people on board, being served two to three meals, this can save a few kilos,” he said.

“You work out how much fuel that consumes over a year, and you can be talking about a considerable amount of money”.

Other carriers have come up with all sorts of ingenious initiatives to shift the flab off their aircraft.

In-flight magazines are going and carriers are even putting their duty-free catalogues onto the seat-back televisions.

“Airlines are going through what they put on a plane. They are now saying that if we are only carrying 100 passengers, then only load what they need,” said Mr Steele.

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