On Monday, Air New Zealand began asking passengers to voluntarily step on a scale before boarding international flights as part of a trial survey aimed at improving fuel efficiency and determining the balance of the aircraft, CNBC reported.
Over the next five weeks, Air New Zealand will ask more than 10,000 of its international travelers to take part in a passenger weight survey before each takeoff.
The information will then be used to calculate the average passenger weight aboard the aircraft, which the pilots can use to determine the weight and balance of the fully-loaded plane.
In 2021, Air New Zealand, which barred international travel due to the COVID pandemic, conducted a similar weigh-in trial for domestic flights.
Since the restrictions were lifted, international travel in New Zealand has begun to rebound over the last year.
In a statement on Monday, the airline said that with international travel once again “up and running,” it was time for international travelers “to weigh in.”
In a press release this week, Alistair James, the airline’s load control official, said asking travelers to step on the scales “can be daunting,” but he assured Air New Zealand customers that there would be “no visible display anywhere” that can be seen by others.
James explained that by participating in the passenger weight survey, customers would be helping Air New Zealand “fly safely and more efficiently every time.”
The passenger weight survey trial, which began on May 29, will run through July 2. The voluntary weigh-ins will take place at the entrance to the gate lounge for specific flights departing from Auckland International Airport.
Many carriers continue to use the 2009 average passenger weight data from the European Aviation Safety Agency (now the European Union Aviation Agency).
However, in 2017, Finland’s Finnair began weighing passengers to update the 2009 data.