Gas Prices Cause Airline to Remove Life Vests

TORONTO (AP) -- An official with Air Canada's regional carrier Jazz says the airline is removing life vests from all its planes to save weight and fuel.

Jazz spokeswoman Manon Stuart said Thursday Transport Canada regulations allow airlines to use floatation devices instead of life vests provided the planes remain within 50 miles (80 kilometers) of shore.

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Safety cards in the seat pockets of Jazz aircraft now direct passengers to use the seat cushions as floatation devices.

Stuart says Jazz is a transcontinental carrier that doesn't fly over the ocean.

Jazz planes do fly over the Great Lakes and along the Eastern seaboard from Halifax to Boston to New York.

Stuart says all of Jazz's flights operate within 50 miles (80 kilometers) of shore. She says they operate 880 flights daily to 85 destinations in North America and says the number of flights that operate over water are minimal.

A commercial-style life vest weighs roughly a half-kilogram, meaning 25 kilograms would be saved by removing them from a Dash-8 aircraft with 50 seats.

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