A story for those who don't think that concern about profits motivates firms to be efficient
Airlines are reducing the size of spoons and dropping in-flight magazines to make planes lighter and save fuel during the recession, according to the International Air Transport Association.
In the United States, Northwest Airlines has excluded spoons from its cutlery pack if the in-flight meal does not require one.
It is not alone, according to Paul Steele, director of the environment at IATA.
Another carrier, JAL of Japan, took everything it loaded from a 747 and put it on the floor of a school gym to see what it really needed.
As a result it shaved a fraction of a centimetre off all its cutlery to cut weight.
"When you are talking about a jumbo jet with 400 people on board, being served two to three meals, this can save a few kilos," he said.
"You work out how much fuel that consumes over a year, and you can be talking about a considerable amount of money".
Other carriers have come up with all sorts of ingenious initiatives to shift the flab off their aircraft.
In-flight magazines are going and carriers are even putting their duty-free catalogues onto the seat-back televisions.
"Airlines are going through what they put on a plane. They are now saying that if we are only carrying 100 passengers, then only load what they need," said Mr Steele.
Catering trolleys are becoming lighter and less water - both bottled and in the tank - is being loaded.
The next generation of aircraft seats are likely to be up to 30 per cent lighter than the current generation, with composite replacing aluminium. . . . .