Air New Zealand’s new blended winglets, which are being fitted to its fleet of Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, are delivering 19 per cent higher fuel savings than forecast.
The airline’s original expectations were that more than six million litres of fuel would be saved annually with the installation of new performance-enhancing blended winglets on its fleet of five Boeing 767 aircraft.
However, with four aircraft now fitted with the winglets, fuel savings are 19% higher than predicted, with the fleet now expected to reduce fuel usage by more than seven million litres and 18,400 tonnes of carbon emissions annually.
The blended winglets, which have been developed by Aviation Partners Boeing, are 3.4 metre high wing-tip devices. They make the aircraft’s wing more efficient by reducing drag, increasing lift and significantly improving fuel use and reducing emissions.
“The installation of the blended winglets is part of Air New Zealand’s on-going drive to be the world’s most environmentally sustainable airline,” says General Manager Airline Operations Captain David Morgan.
Air New Zealand has been at the forefront of finding ways to minimise its environmental impact, examining every aspect of its flight operations to reduce carbon emissions by saving fuel.
“Our approach is constantly evolving as we continue to evaluate our operations and identify new opportunities and new technologies,” says Mr Morgan.
In addition to significant fuel savings and reduction in carbon emissions, the blended winglets provide additional commercial benefits for aircraft operating services on longer sectors, including enabling the aircraft to climb faster and improving payload performance.
The final aircraft is now being refitted and will be back in service in early November.