Air Canada reduces debts with paperless pilot manuals

Commercial airlines around the world are trying to improve their bottom line with fees and additional amenities for their passengers, but not all debts can be recovered by the passenger. Air Canada is making a complete 180-degree change between now and 2019. The company's efforts include using lightweight paint on the body of the airplanes and replacing paper pilot manuals with tablets.

Though the manuals seem to be a small change to reduce Air Canada's cost, it is expected to save them at least $3 million per year.

On some of Air Canada's longer flights, there could be as many as four pilots on board, with each of them carrying the 35-pound manual — that's an additional 140 pounds to the aircraft. Tablets on the other hand, are only about one pound each and allows airplane operators to receive the most up-to-date materials without adding or throwing away pages from the paper manual.

Switching the paint that covers the aircraft is going to make the jet anywhere between 1,100 to 1,700 pounds lighter, which should help lower fuel costs. When jet fuel alone accounts for 30 percent of the organization's budget, any change is essential.

About a year-and​-a-half ago, Air Canada experienced many financial hardships, but chief executive Calin Rovinescu told the Globe and Mail that the company is working toward "sustainable profitability." 

"It's a much more efficient process," Rovinescu explained.

Air Canada already implemented iPads into its Sky Regional airplanes and other affiliates within its parent company as a way to work toward a more paperless office. With these minor changes and some other alternatives like buying wider planes, Rovinescu hopes to reduce the price per average seat mile by 15 percent.


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