11 June 2008

The Upside of $140 Oil

“We’re really fine-tuning to get to that sweet spot of efficiency,” said Mr. Edwards of Delta.

Profit-motivated corporations increasing efficiency in the face of price signals. Shocking!

It's from a NYT article about the measures that airlines are going to in order to reduce weight and save fuel which includes such tactics as washing the engines more often (obvious), taking less water aboard (potentially annoying) and bringing only one set of manuals into the cockpit to save a couple of pounds (desperate).

How long can it be before airlines go the fully efficient route and start charging passengers by the pound?

Admittedly there is some resistance to these measures. Exempli gratia:
Northwest has studied everything from providing customers with packing tips to serving soda from two-liter plastic bottles rather than individual cans. But it decided that customers would balk at that idea.

“They like the can,” Mr. McGraw said. “They want the can.” [original emphasis]

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