Re: Refueling frequency

From:         jim.tilbey@zetnet.co.uk (Jim Tilbey)
Date:         10 Feb 96 12:30:56 
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In message <airliners.1996.171@ohare.Chicago.COM>
        mezei_jf@eisner.decus.org (Jean-Francois Mezei) writes:

> When operating a commuter style operation (many short hops in a day), how
> often is a plane refueled ?

> For instance, if you run a 737 size aircraft, will it be refueled at every
> station it lands, every second one ? (Assuming 1 hour hops).

This depends on a number of factors such as weather conditions,
selected alternates etc. At the airport where I work we have BATP's
operating short hop 100 mile legs. Normally the aircraft can make the
round trip without refuelling. However this week due to a combination
of strong southerly winds and heavy snow falls at all of the Scottish
mainland airfields these aircraft have been refuelling every stop.

> Does refueling severely reduce plane turn around time or can it be safely
> done while other operations are going on (luggage loading/unloading,
> catering load/unload, passenger load/unload) ?

In the UK it is legal to refuel an aircraft with 20 or more seats
with passengers on board as long as all the main doors are open and
each is manned by a member of the cabin crew.

> Does refueling cost more in manpower/service costs than carrying a full
> load of fuel that saves you a refueling at an intermediate stop ? (eg:
> Depart A with enough fuel for A->B and B->C, so you don't have to refuel
> at B, but must carry the B->C fuel on the A->B leg.)

Read an article in the British Airways in flight magazine a few
months back about a B767 flight to Milan. The aircraft was fuelled at
Heathrow with enough fuel for the return trip as this worked out a
cheaper option than buying fuel in Italy. The same applies to the
BATP's mentioned above, because we are an offshore airfield and fuel
has to be transported from the mainland it costs more, therefore the
airlines only seem to want to buy it when they really have to.

--
Jim Tilbey
Kirkwall, Orkney, UK

jim.tilbey@zetnet.co.uk