Budget airlines are able to offer competitive rates because their main focus is on cutting costs. Limiting baggage allowance and stuffing in as many seats as possible in a plane allow them to operate with thin margins and cater to the crowd that’s okay with the experience associated with budget airlines. One of Europe’s biggest budget airlines is easyJet and it’s going to start testing hybrid plane technology to save up to $35 million a year.
The idea is to eliminate the use of fuel when the airplane is taxiing, head of engineering at easyJet Ian Davies says that 4 percent of the airline’s annual fuel consumption was used on taxiing at airports.
Instead of using jet fuel easyJet will test hydrogen fuel cells to power the planes as the taxi with the waste product being created in the process being served to passengers. Water is created as a waste product from hydrogen batteries used in the fuel system.
Davies says that the water created as a waste product can either be used for drinking or flushing toilets, “this is potentially the freshest, cleanest water,” he says.
The technology easyJet is going to test involves a fuel cell that captures energy from the plane’s brakes when it lands and it believes that this is going to help reduce its carbon dioxide emissions as well. The airline is going to start ground-based trials of the hybrid plane later this year.