There has always been a concern for providing the cheapest air tickets to the passengers. For this purpose, the aircraft manufactures try to develop the airplanes using the latest technology which can economize on the use of fuel. Similarly, the airlines try to economize on the fuel by conserving it by adopting all such ways and means which can result in fuel saving such as by cutting down on speed of flying, flying with the winds in upper atmosphere and in such a way that ensures that there is less drag on the airplane.
The cutting down on the speed of flight draws the analogy from the car driving. The more is the speed by acceleration, the more is the consumption of fuel and that too with higher inefficiency. At the same time, if the speed slows down too much then there might still not be efficiency in fuel consumption. Therefore, by flying at a little less than the average speed for travel and tolerating a little more flight time, the airlines can manage to save hundreds of millions of dollars of aviation fuel on an annual basis. There have been many such trial runs of the airlines where the airplanes have flown on a little less than their average speeds and have tried flying at consistent speed throughout their journeys. This resulted in their reaching a few minutes late on each flight but the savings of fuel on annual basis has been phenomenal.
Besides reducing the speed of the aircraft, the other methods of saving fuel in the flight and providing cheap flights is by way of flying in formation to reduce the air drag or by way of These actually turned into profits for the airline and the same could even be passed wholly or partly as cheap flights tickets for the passengers.