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BA Whistleblower Reveals Tankering of Fuel - BBC

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BA Whistleblower Reveals Tankering of Fuel - BBC

Old 12th Nov 2019, 09:43
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Originally Posted by ZBMAN
Absolute nonsense. Not going to into the details of our fuel policy here, but typically we fly with a low cost index, sometimes CI=0 if we are ahead of schedule, When I joined from EZY I found both AF and EZY flew the same CI. If running late we may ask to speed up to salvage a few connections, but this is far from being the norm. Our fuel policy is in line with industry norm, but hey letís not miss a good excuse to talk down the french or AF
Fair enough, in that case Iíve been told nonsense from those who have friends at AF. They have consistently told me itís a policy to get pax to destination ASAP, but I suppose it could be a case of Chinese whispers.

Not sure how you see a good excuse to ďtalk down the FrenchĒ, I thought I was neutral with my language.

Last edited by flyer4life; 12th Nov 2019 at 10:01.
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Old 12th Nov 2019, 09:44
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Interesting Thread
I currently fly 737 lowco/charter airline in Europe, and we are always suggested to do tankering if there a slight fuel price difference at destination.
However I'm not a big fan of this practice, because we always land close to MLAW. Neither very efficient nor eco friendly if you end up doing holding patern at destination to burn the extra fuel.
Another issue is with wings full of fuel at temperature well below zero, you'll be surprise to see ice building on the wings. Common practice is to left fuel on the center tank and refuel the main tanks with warm fuel at destination, it usually take care of the icing pb.
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Old 12th Nov 2019, 09:57
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Why is this person a whistleblower? Is tankering fuel illegal or unethical? He or she may be a concerned environmentalist, but hardly a whistleblower.
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Old 12th Nov 2019, 10:12
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If they want to talk about tankering on a BIG scale, they should take a close look at the amounts the airlines in the Middle East are hauling around.
The ME fuel prices are way below all other places. Emirates, Qatar Airways, Etihad, Oman Air, Gulf Air and Saudi Arabian Airlines.
How much extra fuel did Emirates carry on the A380 when they did 3 goarounds in Manchester and then diverted to LHR?
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Old 12th Nov 2019, 10:15
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Originally Posted by sellbydate
When do you choose to make an aircraft heavier for 'safety' reasons?
After the TWA800 incident, operators of 747s were mandated to keep a predetermined amount of fuel in the centre wing tank to avoid any build up of fuel vapour.
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Old 12th Nov 2019, 10:18
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Originally Posted by ManaAdaSystem
If they want to talk about tankering on a BIG scale, they should take a close look at the amounts the airlines in the Middle East are hauling around.
The ME fuel prices are way below all other places. Emirates, Qatar Airways, Etihad, Oman Air, Gulf Air and Saudi. Arabian Airlines.
How much extra fuel did Emirates carry on the A380 when they did 3 goarounds in Manchester and then diverted to LHR?
There is a big difference between tankering and diversion/holding fuel.

There is only one airline in your list above that regularly tankers round trip fuel from the ME to Europe. I'll let you guess which one, it's not Emirates by the way.
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Old 12th Nov 2019, 10:33
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Originally Posted by TURIN
There is a big difference between tankering and diversion/holding fuel.

There is only one airline in your list above that regularly tankers round trip fuel from the ME to Europe. I'll let you guess which one, it's not Emirates by the way.
Fuel for 3 goarounds and a diversion to LHR is way above normal holding/diversion fuel. Emirates tankers same as the others even if it may not be possible to tanker round trip.
Sitting on ground in Hyderabad waiting for the ice to melt from the wings on a 380? Landed with tankering fuel.
BIG numbers involved with these airlines.
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Old 12th Nov 2019, 10:42
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Originally Posted by Check Airman
Why is this person a whistleblower? Is tankering fuel illegal or unethical? He or she may be a concerned environmentalist, but hardly a whistleblower.
Because the Public Interest Disclosure Act says so. Why don't you read it?

Is this matter 'public interest'? - the making of a BBC documentary seems to vindicate this.

If it's not whistleblowing, he will be hunted down like a dog.
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Old 12th Nov 2019, 11:32
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Somebody needs to explain to me what significant difference flying economy as opposed to Business makes to the environment?
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Old 12th Nov 2019, 12:05
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Originally Posted by Fire and brimstone
Because the Public Interest Disclosure Act says so. Why don't you read it?

Is this matter 'public interest'? - the making of a BBC documentary seems to vindicate this.

If it's not whistleblowing, he will be hunted down like a dog.
Well I have read it and my opnion, and I am not a lawyer, is that this would not be considered a proteected dissclosured under the act because it does not meet the requirments for that, specifically
43B-f) 'that information tending to show any matter falling within any one of the preceding paragraphs has been, is being or is likely to be deliberately concealed'.

I think tankering was a well known practice which was not in any way concealed, therefore it does not meet the requirments ot be a protected disclosure under the act, essentially because it is not actually a disclosure.

The focus on it is also entirely disproportionate. All measures are necessarily trade offs between cost, efficiency, investment, performance etc. Some level of tankering is necessary and at the current level the effect is tiny so although things could doubtless be better it is crazy to focus on this and not other areas where much larger savings can be found. If we look at any area of modern life whatsoever we will find practices with similar or larger impacts which are not highlighted by an eratz 'whistleblower' as some shocking outrage. We should reject the fake outrage and seek to focus on changes that are a good trade off between benefit and cost/inconvenience.
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Old 12th Nov 2019, 12:26
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Originally Posted by david340r
Please explain! How on earth does a carbon tax change anything except airfares?
I think that was the point.

Or don't you think that demand for air transport is price-sensitive ?
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Old 12th Nov 2019, 12:28
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In an idle moment, I wasted some of my remaining life looking up numbers on t'interweb.

It turns out that an A320 type of aircraft, operating, say, LHR-MUC and return, would burn about 5 Tonnes each way. So if the return fuel burn is added to the outbound aircraft weight (guessed at 77T), it would be adding about 6.5% (these are ROUGH FIGURES!).

The CO2 produced on the outbound leg would be, according to the ICAO website, 10,554 Kg. Assuming a direct relationship with aircraft weight, the tankered fuel generates 6.5% of that, ie 686 Kg CO2.

According to "They Work for You" a road bridger vehicle weighing, say, 40-50 tonnes, would generate 950 grams per kilometer, ie 95 Kg per 100 Km carrying fuel to MUC. So if the return fuel were uplifted at MUC, those 5 tonnes would have generated 10% of that, just 9.5 Kg, per 100 Km road distance from the refinery to Munich.

Not to be taken as too accurate or even serious, but it would seem that within a wide margin of error, in environmental terms it's best not to tanker as opposed to uplifting at the destination, ceteris paribus, which of course they probably are not.

Mind you, my calculations could easily be outside even that wide margin of error. I haven't done sums like that for years.
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Old 12th Nov 2019, 12:36
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Originally Posted by aerodestination
How do we think the jet A1 is getting to one of those islands? If you take this into account, tankering does make sense. Economically and environmentally.
THANK YOU!!!
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Old 12th Nov 2019, 12:36
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Originally Posted by Avman
Somebody needs to explain to me what significant difference flying economy as opposed to Business makes to the environment?
Think about it like this - the airline only operates that route because it knows it can make a profit from it. As a business class pax you're contributing a lot more of the profit incentive than the average economy pax and therefore have to assume more of the environmental impact.
In a more simple sense, you're taking up more of the available resource on the flight (cabin space & weight)
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Old 12th Nov 2019, 13:09
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Originally Posted by UltraFan
THANK YOU!!!
Originally Posted by aerodestination
How do we think the jet A1 is getting to one of those islands? If you take this into account, tankering does make sense. Economically and environmentally.
There is no denying that there can be operational benefits from tankering fuel.

But you, and the poster that you quote, appear to be the only two contributors arguing that it's actually greener to transport jet fuel to a given airport by air rather than by surface (land or sea) in bulk.

I'd be fascinated to see your sums demonstrating that.
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Old 12th Nov 2019, 13:12
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Originally Posted by sellbydate
When do you choose to make an aircraft heavier for 'safety' reasons?
Part 135 requirement for 45 minutes reserve fuel - makes the aircraft heavier for safety reasons.
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Old 12th Nov 2019, 13:18
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There is another benefit to tankering not mentioned here.
Airport A raises its fuel prices above the normal.
Airlines flying to airport A start tankering fuel from other airports - Airport A has a glut of fuel and almost no sales
Airport A lowers its fuel prices to slightly lower than normal
Airlines flying to airport A refuel at airport A and tanker to their now more expensive airports.

This is straightforward competition at work to keep aviation fuel costs low. And as stated above there are other advantages for tankering in some situations/operational concepts
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Old 12th Nov 2019, 13:55
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Running Ridges
In a more simple sense, you're taking up more of the available resource on the flight (cabin space & weight)
But isn't there a counter argument, albeit a minor one, that the fact that there are considerably less seats in C Class amounts to less weight?
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Old 12th Nov 2019, 15:11
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK
But you, and the poster that you quote, appear to be the only two contributors...
So minority is always wrong just because fewer people oppose an idea?

Originally Posted by DaveReidUK
I'd be fascinated to see your sums demonstrating that.
I'll do it RIGHT after you publish your thoroughly researched and peer-proofed calculations proving that tankage is detrimental to the environment and scientifically disprove the above notion that taking fuel to a remote destination is more harmful than tankage.
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Old 12th Nov 2019, 15:19
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Originally Posted by old,not bold
In an idle moment, I wasted some of my remaining life looking up numbers on t'interweb.

It turns out that an A320 type of aircraft, operating, say, LHR-MUC and return, would burn about 5 Tonnes each way. So if the return fuel burn is added to the outbound aircraft weight (guessed at 77T), it would be adding about 6.5% (these are ROUGH FIGURES!).
Just an observation, and not my aisle so to speak, but 5 tonnes burn sounds very excessive for a modern short haul type on that sort of sector...any A320 experts care to comment?
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