Delta Air Lines Upgrades Fleet With Blended Winglets

PARIS , June 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Delta Air Lines continues to build its international expansion by purchasing Blended Winglets for the backbone of its medium-to-long haul fleet. Initial installations have already started and will include: 38 737-NG's, 10 757-200's, and 15 767-300ER aircraft. Delta has options to equip their entire fleets of all three aircraft types with Blended Winglets.

"Blended Winglets are the right product at the right time for the fast-growing expansion of Delta's international routes," says Aviation Partners Boeing CEO John Reimers. "The significance of Delta committing to winglets for three aircraft types at the same time cannot be overstated. APB is delighted to see Delta's new image take off with the help of our technology."

Delta is adding international routes faster than any other global carrier and Blended Winglets provide greater flexibility to serve more markets with existing aircraft. With aircraft manufacturers sold out of long-range point-to-point aircraft for several years, Blended Winglets provide a low-cost, timely solution to enter markets that in the past were unreachable for certain aircraft. Blended Winglets will provide Delta's 757-200 aircraft with 200 nautical miles of additional range or the ability to carry up to 49 additional passengers on 4,000 mile routes. Their 767-300ER aircraft will gainmore than 350 nautical miles in range or 5.5 tons of payload. For an airline expanding its international presence, this type of improvement creates opportunities that would otherwise require the development of new aircraft types.

"Blended Winglets create an opportunity for us to improve both our operating and fuel efficiency simultaneously," said Jim Whitehurst , Delta's Chief Operating Officer. "We expect to see a minimum of 3.5 percent improvement in our fuel consumption and a minimum of 5 percent in our range thanks to this added technology. Our customers benefit with more destinations and Delta benefits from new efficiencies that improve our operations and better the environment."

With Delta Air Lines' order for 767-300ER winglets, they join American Airlines, LAN Airlines, and Austrian Airlines as launch customers for the product. Scheduled for certification in November 2008, these four firm orders make it APB's most successful launch of a new product. Block fuel savings of up to 6%, takeoff performance and/or payload improvements measured in tons, and range increases of up to 350 nautical miles create an obvious business case for airline profitability. Environmental benefits such as significantly reduced carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide emissions, and takeoff noise create an equally obvious choice for airline environmental responsibility.

Today over 1750 Blended Winglet systems are in service with over 100 airlines in more than 40 countries. Currently, 75 percent of the in-service fleet of 737-700s and 737-800s are Blended Winglet equipped. By 2010, with over 4500 airliners upgraded, APB anticipates that Blended Winglet Technology will have saved commercial airlines over 2 billion gallons of fuel.

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SOURCE Aviation Partners Boeing

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