fuel costs

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No Pilot, V-Formation: Jet Flight of the Future?

Airplanes that draft would be more fuel efficient, and Boeing is taking a look

(Newser) - To cut fuel costs in aircraft, Boeing and NASA have been looking toward geese for inspiration—or, more precisely, the V-shaped pattern preferred by migratory birds. That's because so-called wake-surfing (think of bicycles or cars drafting behind others) is efficient—and it doesn't require newly designed aircraft to... More »

Ryanair Asks Crews to Lose Weight to Cut Fuel Costs

Amid other desperate attempts to reduce weight on flights

(Newser) - With fuel costs on the rise, Ryanair is desperately trying everything it can think of to shave some weight off its planes—including slimming down its in-flight magazine, serving less ice, and even telling its flight crews to watch their weight, the Telegraph reports. "We cut costs wherever possible,... More »

Gas Prices Hit February Record

National average is $3.13, a high for this time of year

(Newser) - A little news to warm your heart in February: Gas prices have never been this high at this time of year, reports AP . The national average hit $3.13 yesterday, 50 cents higher than last year. Prices also are higher than they were in mid-February 2008, when they began their... More »

Piracy Jacks Up Insurance, Fuel Costs

Entering high-risk areas or navigating around South Africa both add millions

(Newser) - Piracy in the Gulf of Aden is driving up shipping costs as companies are forced to choose between paying higher insurance or taking longer routes, the AP reports. Premiums have reportedly risen at least tenfold for travel near the Somali coast, and avoiding the Gulf of Aden by navigating around... More »

Aging Airlines Can't Catch Up to Younger Rivals

Recent changes haven't helped 'legacy' carriers

(Newser) - Despite many rounds of cost-cutting, so-called legacy airlines—United, Delta, US Airways—still face costs 35% higher than low-fare carriers like JetBlue and Southwest, the Wall Street Journal reports. The younger outfits have maintained a “cost gap” analysts thought their older peers could close over time. For one thing,... More »

Oil Prices Plunge, Gas Not So Much

Refineries slashed production after demand for gas dipped

(Newser) - Gas is pumping toward $2 per gallon—a 22% increase since Dec. 30—even though oil prices have dipped 16% over the same period. What gives? When penny-pinched Americans cut back on fuel last fall, oil refineries were slow to ease production. Now they're overcompensating with production cuts to recover... More »

Salmonella Scare Rattles Peanut County

Farmers report fewer contracts

(Newser) - A Georgia county that boasts a big peanut in its courthouse square is getting crunched by the salmonella outbreak, the Los Angeles Times reports. In Blakely-Early County, Ga.—the self-proclaimed "Peanut Capital of the World"—peanut plant workers are losing jobs and farmers are getting fewer contracts.... More »

'Consumers Have Thrown In the Towel': Report

Weary from a long fight, consumers are retrenching, cutting purchases across the board

(Newser) - The punches are coming from all directions and consumers, beaten down and out of breath, are clearly ceding the fight through decreased spending, Bloomberg reports. The scorecard released today says it all: consumer purchases were down 0.3% in September, the biggest drop in 4 years, capping the weakest quarter... More »

You Can't Binge on This Anymore

Food makers shrink packages instead of hiking prices

(Newser) - The half-gallon of ice cream is going the way of the soda fountain, as many manufacturers shave ounces off the size of prepackaged foods—without reducing prices, reports the New York Times. The practice, a response to the bump in transportation and ingredient costs, isn't novel, but the reaction is,... More »

Strapped Schools Say Bye to Bus Rides

New generation can tell grandkids they walked to school

(Newser) - As high gas prices strangle US school budgets, more officials are cutting back where it hurts student scores least: school buses. Some schools are limiting or redesigning bus routes, but others have nixed busing entirely, leaving thousands of kids to hoof it under adult supervision. Some parents object, but many... More »

Dell to Sell Factories as It Retools Strategy

PC maker will shed infrastructure in effort to stay competitive

(Newser) - Dell is looking to sell off its computer factories, the Wall Street Journal reports, drastically altering a business model that was once the envy of the industry. Journal sources say the aim is to sell most, if not all, of the plants in the next 18 months; most likely buyers... More »

Japanese PM Resigns

Fukuda hopes move will clear parliamentary gridlock

(Newser) - Yasuo Fukuda has resigned as Japan’s prime minister, the AP reports. Fukuda said he was stepping down to ensure that a special session of parliament to address the economy runs smoothly. Fukuda, whose approval rating is at 29% after less than a year in office, has presided over a... More »

Plains States See Boom, But Await Bust

Strong farming economy highlights nationwide differences

(Newser) - Driven by rising food prices and farmers’ access to loans, the Plains states are a bright economic spot amid the nationwide slump, the Washington Post reports. Farm country was able to avoid the housing bust because it also avoided the boom. And retail space is filling up as consumer spending... More »

United Should Be Liquidated

Why the airline doesn't deserve a second chance

(Newser) - What with the oil price spike, times are rough all around for airlines, writes Roben Farzad for BusinessWeek. But United presents a uniquely bungled case, and it is irresponsible to pity it along with other struggling players in the industry. "Even if the airline devised a way to run... More »

American Stiffens Frequent-Flier Rules

Fees see an increase in a move to cut costs

(Newser) - American Airlines has added stiffer fees and higher mileage requirements to its frequent-flier program as the airline struggles to cope with fuel costs, the New York Times reports. American, which posted a $1.16 billion loss for the second quarter, is following the lead of Delta, which tightened the purse... More »

JetBlue Adds $7 Fee for Pillow and Blanket

Latest extra charge to hit travelers

(Newser) - JetBlue has begun charging passengers $7 for pillows and blankets, Newsday reports. Flyers can keep the items, but there's no guarantee they will be available. It's the latest in a litany of extra charges facing passengers as carriers deal with soaring fuel costs. "This nickel-and-dime stuff doesn't work,"... More »

Haters, Gas Fail to Crush Hummer Pride

Soaring fuel may be stunting sales, but owners won't surrender

(Newser) - Sure, the Hummer may be going the way of the dinosaur: Sales are down 40% this year on soaring gas and an eco-image problem, and GM is looking to ditch its troubled brand. But for owners, the AP reports, outsized pride remains part of the package. "It definitely sparks... More »

Airfare to Get More Expensive This Holiday Season

Limited flight schedule will lead to price increases

(Newser) - Get ready—this holiday season is going to boast some of the most expensive airfares ever, USA Today reports. Because of high fuel costs, most airlines have cut back flight schedules; figure about 9% fewer flights in November compared to a year ago. Having constricted supply, expect the airlines to... More »

Why $8 Gas Would Be Awesome

A call for a return to the days when driving was for rich jerks

(Newser) - Gas, as you may have heard, has topped $4 a gallon, and Joel Stein of the LA Times loves it. "Cheap gas is unfair," he argues, tongue mostly in cheek. Heck, why not make it $8 or even $10 a gallon, as in Europe, "where they have... More »

Fuel Costs Ground Extended Flights

Too pricey to keep 'flying tankers' in the air

(Newser) - Super-long flights were hailed as the future of aviation only a few years ago, but the soaring price of fuel has grounded those plans, reports the Wall Street Journal. Airlines are delaying or canceling intercontinental routes as the cost of keeping "flying tankers" in the air for over 12... More »

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