Flight Profile

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  Idle Takeoff Climb Cruise Landing
Exhaust gas temperature (°C) 466 1,026 809 696 459
Fuel burn rate (liters / minute) 15 108 87 47 27
Thrust (lbs) 1,222 47,000 19,975 4,418 3,337

There are generally five phases in every flight. Each phase is unique and has exerts different characteristics on the engines and structure of the aircraft.


Even when the aircraft is sitting idle in the runway, the engines is burning 15 litres of fuel every minute and producing more than 1000 lbs of thrust.


This is the only stage of a flight whereby full power is applied. At full throttle, a CFM56 powered Airbus A320 can accelerate to 320 kmh in under 60 seconds. The intensity of the engine is so much that the exhaust gas temperature is approximately 1026 oC, equal temperature of an erupting volcano!


The time taken for ascend depends on the weight of the aircraft, a heavier aircraft will take more time to reach the cruising altitude.


When reaching cruise mode, pilot will decrease the engine's thrust to the optimal setting of fuel burn and thrust produced in order to conserve fuel.


During landing, a commercial aircraft will touch on the runway at over 240 kmh. Thrust is redirected forward to help slow the plane.

Flight Speed

The maximum cruising speed of the Airbus A320 is 903 kmh, but the aircraft typically flies at an economical cruising speed of 840 kmh. Before the aircraft can reach cruise mode, significant amount of time is required to climb to the suitable cruising altitude and not to mention time taken before being allowed to take-off and land. Therefore, flight journey time is not necessarily proportional to the distance travelled. The table above depicts the average speed of a typical flight versus the stage length.

Facts that figure

  • Every 3 minutes, an AirAsia aircraft is either taking off or landing somewhere in Asia.
  • Our aircraft flies an average of 2.8 million kilometers each year; that's an equal distance to the moon and back, four times over.
  • Our pilots and cabin crew travel 500,000 kilometers every year; roughly circling the Earth 13 times.
  • Our aircraft consumes approximately 14 million litres of fuel each year.
  • Our aircraft makes contact on the tarmac approximately around 13,000 kilometers every year, about half the distance a normal passenger car puts in every year. BUT, our aircraft will require 16 tyre changes every year.