A model of an Up 737-800 – Photo: El Al/Up Airlines
Israel is not a large country. Because of this, domestic flying has never been of much importance. There are flights out of both Tel Aviv airports (TLV and SDV) to the resort town of Eilat, but even that is within driving distance. This fact has left Israel’s air travel market as one that focuses on flying to international destinations. Competition is heating up and El Al is planning to go head-on with a lower-cost version called Up.
Israel, though an extremely high-tech and growing economy, also has some market features that make it unique compared to equivalent countries in different climates. There is a gigantic Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) market. There is also a lot of business traffic traveling from Continental Europe on restrictive travel budgets. Realistically, most of the high-yield traffic comes from destinations in Northern Europe, North America, and Asia. British low-cost carrier easyJet is expanding its services to Tel Aviv at a seemingly unending rate. There is even talk of Easyjet competitor RyanAir starting Tel Aviv service this year.
Tis the season for fooling. It is hard to know what is true and what is not true on this day. Some airlines have really gotten into it and come up with great April Fool’s news stories. Who says airlines can’t have a sense of humor? Here are the ones I have found so far:
easyJet has a pretty slick livery, but soon their paint will be slick too.
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 easyJet’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.
Ah, creative advertising. I love it. I also love ad-wars. This cleaver ad is brought to you by Germanwings and was filmed on a easyJet flight. At least easyJet made some money when the people paid for tickets!