Business Case

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Turnaround Minutes

The breakdown below highlights the potential reduction in overall turnaround time per month genera- ted by aFuel. The percentages indicate the percentage of flights handled via aFuel.

Small airline

(2.000 flights/month)

25% – 13 h/month

75% – 40 h/month

100% – 53 h/month

Medium airline

(10.000 flights/month)

25% – 70 h/month

75% – 208 h/month

100% – 278 h/month

Large airline

(20.000 flights/month)

25% – 140 h/month

75% – 418 h/month

100% – 557 h/month

Delay Minutes

The breakdown below highlights the potential monetary savings per month generated by aFuel by reducing delay minutes. The percentages indicate the percentage of flights handled via aFuel.

Small airline

(2.000 flights/month)

25% – 779 $/month

75% – 2.338 $/month

100% – 3.118 $/month

Medium airline

(10.000 flights/month)

25% – 3.823 $
75% – 11.469 $
100% – 15.293 $

Large airline

(20.000 flights/month)

25% – 7.642 $/month

75% – 22.926 $/month

100% – 30.568 $/month

Tankering savings

The breakdown below highlights the potential monetary generated by aFuel through the cost optimi- zation of tankering flights. The percentages indicate the percentage of flights handled via aFuel.

Small airline

(240 tankering flights/month)

25% – 2.100 $/month
75% – 6.300 $/month
100% – 8.400 $/month

Medium airline

(1.200 tankering flights/month)

25% – 10.500 $/month
75% – 31.500 $/month
100% – 42.000 $/month

Large airline

(2.400 tankering flights/month)

25% – 21.000 $/month
75% – 63.000 $/month
100% – 84.000 $/month

After analyzing the potential of a shorter and more stable turnaround process, we will take that one step further and focus on another benefit of real-time digital communication. And again, it’s a benefit that has the potential to generate monetary savings.
Tankering Done Right
With aFuel, your pilots can always get in con- tact with the into-plane agent at the airport, whether via their EFB device on the ground or via ACARS while in the air. For a regular flight, that might not be of much importance.
However, for tankering flights, this option holds a considerable advantage. For the first time, you can communicate that the operated flight is a tankering flight in advance. Same applies to any changes to that during the flight, resulting from longer flight times, different forecasts, etc.
This, of course, makes the turnaround pro- cess again more stable due to the upfront communication. No hectic calls are needed to get the into-plane agent to the position on time anymore. However, the situation in which an airline can generate monetary savings through this looks different. In the case of a tankering flight, the into-plane agent is often not informed or ignores that information. In both cases, the fuel truck drives to the position without need. The pilot will inform the truck driver about the unnecessity of additional fuel, and the driver will drive off, wasting valuable time for requested fueling jobs. The truck driver will also issue an invoice for the unnecessary approach. This clause is included in most fueling contracts. The rate char- ged for that can vary massively depending on the airport but based on customer feedback 35$ per drive is a fair average.
Those 35$ can easily be saved through the upfront communication of no-fuel fuel orders with aFuel. In the left-hand graphic, you can find an example calculation covering different size airlines and the potential savings.
Seamless Integration
Flights with a no-fuel fuel order are clearly highlighted for you to identify during invoicing. Invoices for those flights should be monitored manually to ensure everything aligns
with the agreements. aFuel even has an auto- mated import function established for airlines using Skymetrix (formally FuelPlus) as their fuel invoicing solution. No Fuel fuel orders are directly imported into your Skymetrix system and flagged for further inspection. This way, an airline can eliminate every unnecessary tankering invoice.
To increase the tankering savings, aFuel also offers a sophisticated algorithmic feature that allows for automated tankering forecasts and adjustments based on historical data and client- specific configuration. However, to learn more about this, we should sit together soon as it would go beyond the scope of this magazine to discuss it further.
With that, we have another benefit cove- red that stabilizes the operations and offers the opportunity to generate monetary savings with minimal effort. Again, a great example of why aFuel should be a no-brainer for your air- line to implement soon. If you are not already sold on it, let us continue with the next benefit.

Backoffice Workload

Continuing with the list of benefits generated by aFuel, we now move beyond the actual focus of the system, the operational fueling process. Instead, we look at how the subsequent processes can benefit from the new level of digital communication.
In the last article, we already touched on the import functionality to the Skymetrix system we offer. Looking at this much more generally, one thing becomes apparent. Pa- per fuel slips are issued, but all invoices are handled digitally, resulting in a media disruption that is overcome by manually inputting the information from the paper slip into the invoicing system. This job is highly time-consuming, error- prone, and nowadays more than redundant.

Eliminating the Media Disruptions

With aFuel, you automatically eliminate that manual process, as no media disruption is present. A fuel slip is issued digitally and can be transferred into your invoicing system directly without any manual effort. In addition, every fuel slip from a connected airport will have the same format and data quality, streamlining the process even more.
It will relieve your employees, as the repetitive task gets eliminated and the overall pro- cess quality will improve. Further automation could enhance the fuel slip and invoice hand- ling even further – specific actions for that need to be defined by the airlines individually.
Eliminating media disruption is a huge benefit for every back-office department, as those generate unnecessary efforts and sub- par process quality. With aFuel, we help air- lines to eliminate just one more of those and pave the way to fully digitalized and connected back-office workflows.

Data Quality

The next aFuel benefit that needs to be highl- ighted is one that we have touched on several times – the massively improved data quality. Over are the days of paper fuel slips that need to be transferred manually into your system. With aFuel, you immediately get the same le- vel of data quality at every station and from every supplier in a digital form. This cuts down the back-office workload as previously described and opens new opportunities for performance monitoring and process impro- vements. In the past, monitoring the fueling process was impossible due to the lack of available data. Every into-plane agent had its own fuel slip format that only contained the most re- levant numbers. No other data was recorded during the operational fueling process, so no real- time information exchange occurred. All that made putting efforts into the analysis ob- solete.

New Data Available
aFuel revolutionizes that completely. Now, airlines can communicate with the into- pla- ne agents in real-time and exchange far more information than ever before. This creates a new level of data quality that allows for in- depth analysis. Fuel orders are recorded – both preliminary and final, real-time pro- cess milestones are exchanged, and exten- sive digital fuel slips, including all relevant information, are issued. This allows airlines to create a digital twin of every single fueling process individually, but more importantly, a performance overview per station or across the whole network. Monitoring and comparing performance across the network opens a whole new set of process improvements. Knowing the top- performing stations makes it possible to copy specific details that are done differently there and apply those to other more struggling sta- tions. The opportunities are sheer endless here. The fueling data is available extensively and uniformly, allowing airlines to integrate it into their overall turnaround analysis. Including the fueling, data will highlight interdependen- cies with other turnaround process steps that can be improved through further measures. The potential for process improvements and better stability is enormous, but it is difficult to evaluate from our standpoint. Airlines need to make the best use of the newly available fueling data to find areas of improvement that hold the most potential. Those might be ob- tainable by improving the inter-process com- munication or by introducing new means of digitalization to the turnaround process.

Welcome to the Next Level
All in all, aFuel is an absolute game chan- ger regarding data availability and quality. It opens many new opportunities for airlines in the future while drastically reducing the back-office workload. Subsequent process improvements are a must after implementing aFuel for any airline. Only with this, its poten- tial can be exploited to its full extent. The last thing to say from our side – get your data ana- lysts ready to overhaul your fueling and turn- around process.

Carbon Footprint

We have come to the last benefit covered in this magazine – aFuel’s positive impact on sustainability. Talking about aircraft fueling and sustainability sounds rather odd as flying is often labeled as one of the biggest climate killers. And considering that aFuel does not reduce fuel consumption, the question of how it can improve the carbon footprint of an air- line arises. When it comes to improving sustainability, everybody thinks about global measures like switching to renewable energy or the rise of electrified mobility. Even though those are measures with a significant impact, they take much effort to complete or even progress. At the same time, sustainability can be impro- ved by much smaller steps. The task of every company nowadays should be to identify eve- ry single one of those small opportunities to make a positive impact overall.

One step at a time
aFuel offers two more of those small oppor- tunities that are realized as a positive side ef- fect. No additional efforts are needed. The di- gitalization of the operational fueling process makes it much more sustainable. Switching from paper-based exchange to a real-time digital communication eliminates the paper wasted in this process, and the upfront com- munication of tankering flights eliminates the CO2 emissions of unnecessary fuel truck movements — two tiny improvements with a positive impact on sustainability. Let’s take a close look at the two. The com- plete elimination of paper in the operational fueling process might be the most straight- forward sustainability improvement of aFu- el. Assuming that airlines running a non-di- gital fueling process use five pieces of paper per fueling process, a substantial number of trees can be saved annually. And that is not even the best part! We, as In- formation Design, have partnered with Tree-, a global reforestation program, to replant double the number of trees saved by our aFuel customers every year. With that, we support projects worldwide to combat the deforestation of our beloved home planet. The second positive impact on sustainability that aFuel brings is connected to the upfront communication of the tankering flights. Fuel truck movements related to such a flight are erased from your payment bill, and the CO2 emissions no longer have a negative impact. Considering the amount of tankering flight, this impact can vary drastically. Both measures have the potential to make a positive impact on the overall sustainabili- ty of an airline. We certainly know that both measures will not save the world, but they are just two more little steps towards a highly sustainable company. Especially as an airline, you need to look for those little positive chan- ges to improve your carbon footprint.