Every little bit of efficiency can turn into big bucks for the airlines. Either by saving a little weight or making the aircraft more aerodynamic, airlines with large fleets can end up saving a lot of money. easyJet is trying a different kind of paint on their planes in hopes of saving the environment and passengers money (well more profit might be a motivating factor in there somewhere too).
The new paint weighs less, fills in imperfections on the aircraft’s surface and reduces debris build up on the aircraft, increasing the aerodynamics.
easyJet has a large fleet of the Airbus A320 family. They have a total fleet of 194 airplanes, most of which are in the A320 family. The airline is hoping for fuel consumption to be reduced by about 2%. That can add up to huge numbers across the entire fleet.
Although this paint technology has been used on US Military aircraft, easyJet is the first commercial airline to use it on their aircraft. They have eight airplanes currently in the new paint and will be testing it for the next 12 months to compare the fuel savings. If successful, they will evaluate if their entire fleet should use the new paint
easyJet’s chief executive officer Carolyn McCall said, “Efficiency is in easyJetâ€™s DNA. If we can find new ways of educing the amount of fuel used by our aircraft we can pass the benefits onto our passengers by offering them low fares and a lower carbon footprint.”
If the paint is found to be more efficient, I can only imagine more airlines around the world will start using it on their aircraft.