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-   -   BA Whistleblower Reveals Tankering of Fuel - BBC (https://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/627119-ba-whistleblower-reveals-tankering-fuel-bbc.html)

Dannyboy39 11th Nov 2019 08:04

Originally Posted by ETOPS (Post 10615898)
This holding is far more damaging than tankering and I did try to avoid it by slowing down en-route but arriving at the back of that queue still brought the dreaded " take up the hold at Lambourne - maintain FL 160 - at least 20 mins delay"..........

Nail on head sir. And the way around this - have a third and fourth runway at LHR. Often the MAN-LHR flt time is doubled due to Monday morning holding. Very frustrating.

EastofKoksy 11th Nov 2019 08:20

Hands up all those working at the BBC and everywhere else that drive an extra mile or two to find cheaper fuel then fill up their tanks to the brim. This practice must also use fuel to carry fuel. The Panorama programme will probably be just be another virtue signalling fest from the BBC against the great satan of flying.

KelvinD 11th Nov 2019 08:43

From an economic point of view, I wonder how economic tankering really is over the long term. I was thinking that if you arrive at destination with sufficient fuel for the return trip, plus reserve, the aircraft will be heavier when landing than it normally would be. Certainly, the weight will be within limits but surely repeated heavier than necessary landings over many cycles breaks "pickle forks"?

Airstripflyer 11th Nov 2019 08:46

Tankering is normally done because the extra cost of carrying the additional weight of fuel is less than the cost of buying the fuel at destination. But often the fuel price is high at the destination because of the difficulty of getting the fuel there. The logistics of supplying fuel to a small island in the middle of the ocean add considerably to the cost - and the fuel efficiency of the supply ships will not be good. So overall it probably burns less fuel to tanker.

ShyTorque 11th Nov 2019 08:50

It will make a difference when we all stop flying.

InSoMnIaC 11th Nov 2019 08:50

I donít see where in the EuroControlís very scientific Diagram it shows the fuel Burnt to transport the non tankered fuel to airports with expensive fuel

Mgggpilot 11th Nov 2019 09:07

So tankering my A330 to land at destination with 1 tonne less MLW and not tankering (min flight plan fuel) same sector coz my flight was full (with pax) again landing at the destination with 1 tonne less MLW.
considering two cases above, isnt carbon emission the same? So what's the fuss now? Should we offload pax (if flights are full) so we fly lighter to be praised by "environmentalists"?
What am I missing here?

Luke SkyToddler 11th Nov 2019 09:16

Airstripflyer makes the relevant point

If you tanker fuel to a place like the Seychelles or Kathmandu because it's expensive, that fuel has ALREADY been tankered there in trucks and boats. Which are less efficient than planes in the first place.

If you tanker fuel from a place like Jeddah because it's cheaper than LHR - well guess where the fuel in the pumps in LHR came from?

Bergerie1 11th Nov 2019 09:36


I agree. Tankering is only a very small part of the issue. If European governments were really interested in reducing emissions from aviation, they would redesign the whole European ATM system to ensure better routes and flight profiles. This would be a double whammy - more efficient flights, less emissions and shorter flight times.

AviatorDave 11th Nov 2019 09:37

Originally Posted by ShyTorque (Post 10615952)
It will make a difference when we all stop flying.

Which seems to be the ultimate goal. It is interesting that it is aviation with its small to moderate overall impact that gets the most flogging and is kind of treated as the worst offender.
Socialist agendas don't like the average Joe to be mobile and freely travel around through the world. Could get Joe the wrong ideas ...

jolihokistix 11th Nov 2019 09:41

In light of Dave Reid's graphs I would like to modify my earlier car analogy.
Racing a car at the track up in the hills, I used to carry 40 litres of extra fuel in metal cans in the back, because the pump fuel prices at the circuit were exorbitant. The fuel I was carrying was cold and fresh, from a place where fuel was sold in large quantity and in presumably guaranteed quality. The fuel up at the track was expensive, thus not popular, thus not much used, thus of dubious quality, was the general feeling.

Reaches for hat and coat...

PiggyBack 11th Nov 2019 09:51

You have to love journalists. The BBC reveal a whistleblowers revelation that airlines take common sense actions to mitigate high fuel costs in some locations by doing what everyone with a car does hen they fill up at a petrol station with low prices. They perform a calculation which exagerates the effect by ignoring the environmental costs of getting the fuel to those high cost locations and even so end up with a figure for the extra carbon emitted which I calculate as 1.8e4/9.18e8 or 0.002% of the emissions of the airline industry. This really is negligible and without any detailled knowledge or calculations probably at least two probably three orders of magnitude smaller than what could be saved simply by seeking to improve general efficiencies.

This story is senstionalist nonsense built on a tiny kernel of truth especialy the concept of there needing to be a 'whistleblower' to reveal the situation.

dixi188 11th Nov 2019 09:52

I imagine it is the LOCOs that do the most tankering as they do mostly short haul flights and lots of them.

stormin norman 11th Nov 2019 10:03

BA is very good at cutting carbon emissions, makes profit ,pays its staff a salary and provides a service taking millions of people on holidays and business trips a year.

The BBC puts on sports personality of the year. Ensuring thousands of people travel thousands of miles by road, rail and air to watch an event in a stadia that could be done by 5 people in studio in Manchester.

Fire and brimstone 11th Nov 2019 10:04

If we are talking about economy and emissions, what proportion of pilots stick to the mandated ECON cost index .................... ??

Only a modicum of discipline required.

P.S. As for the brave whistleblower: the management will move heaven and earth to get to him / her. The CAA have a whistleblowing facility - I wonder why they did not go straight to the regulator ...............

esscee 11th Nov 2019 10:06

Almost a bit of a "non-thread", as explained very well by others. Definitely not "whistleblowing", more like common sense. Fuel has to get to some of these remote locations somehow THAT is why it is more expensive there!

Skyjob 11th Nov 2019 10:11

Economically tankering saves money if flying same route on same day compared to non-tankering flight.
Environmentally missions are re reduced as shortcuts are given, no holding delays are expected and less weight is carried.

When compared, on an average EU flight distance of 600nm (according to Eurocontrol document):
Economically: tankering saves 167 liters ~ £92

The economic impact above is equivalent to 4 minutes delay, eg once around the holding pattern, being second for approach on arrival at destination, speeding up and/or 20 extra track miles delaying please.

flyer4life 11th Nov 2019 10:33

Originally Posted by Fire and brimstone (Post 10616008)
If we are talking about economy and emissions, what proportion of pilots stick to the mandated ECON cost index .................... ??

The policy at Air France (shorthaul at least) is to fly maximum speed for minimum flight times. You can often hear them in French asking ATC to order the aircraft ahead of them to speed up. Thatís an entire airline with no interest in flying fuel efficient speeds.

old,not bold 11th Nov 2019 11:06

BA, whose flight plans I/we used to prepare as their anointed handlers in the Gulf in the early 1970s, routinely tankered fuel around to save costs, and presumably have done before and since that period. So it's hardly fresh news.

Whoever said that a ban on tankering would simply encourage suppliers at airports with only 1 supplier (ie the majority) to increase prices hit the nail on the head. At the moment suppliers monitor prices at other airports very closely to remain competitive in carriers' price indices. I don't know how it works with global supply contracts, these days.

Mind you, enforcing such a 'ban' would be challenging. Who, exactly, would enforce it, and how?

What really gets me worked up is going round and round a holding point waiting for a LHR approach clearance. (And elsewhere, of course; I only use LHR at the moment.) With modern IT capabilities IT CANNOT BE BEYOND THE WIT OF MAN to manage air traffic on route and at airports so that this huge contributor to emissions no longer happens. I know ALL the reasons why it "just can't be done, old chap, do keep up, far too many variables", and I also know that with political, financial and operational determination they can be overcome.

I often have to go to Cologne from LHR. A 5 - 20 minute hold on the evening (peak time) return sector seems to be pretty much standard. WHY, for God's sake? Mainly because everyone just accepts the insanity as normal, unavoidable even, shrugs their shoulders and carries on.

InSoMnIaC 11th Nov 2019 11:07

One way to put an end to this greedy practice of tankering fuel (which if not done has to arrive at the destination by some other means) is to base airways charges on Actual TOW iso Max TOW. This will allow the airline to save money by only paying based on how much is being carried and save the environment. Oh wait. That won’t work because it doesn’t unfairly disadvantage airlines.

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