FORT WORTH , Texas – American Airlines and Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) announced today that American will become the launch customer for APB’s Blended Winglets ™ for the Boeing 767-300ER, which will save the airline, at minimum, another 17 million gallons of fuel per year.
American will remove from service a B767-300ER and lease it to the winglet supplier, APB, for an eight-month flight test certification program, beginning in January 2008.
APB has designed an 11-foot high advanced-technology Blended Winglet for the 767-300ER with the capability of saving 4-5 percent on fuel consumption, depending on the length of the flight. It could also extend the range of the aircraft by as much as 360 nautical miles and improve take-off performance, providing as much as 12,000 pounds of additional payload. APB plans to receive a Supplemental Type Certificate for 767-300ER Blended Winglets by November 2008.
Upon completion of the certification program, American plans to install winglets on its entire fleet of 58 B767-300ER aircraft, with each airplane expected to save at least 290,000 gallons of fuel each year. American expects to modify all of the aircraft by mid-year 2010. The installation work will be accomplished by American’s Maintenance & Engineering organization, which conducts more than 90 percent of American’s maintenance.
“We will conserve 17 to 21 million gallons in fuel annually for the B767-300ER fleet,” said Bob Reding, American’s Senior Vice President - Technical Operations. “Once we install winglets on all of our current Boeing 737, Boeing 757, and the B767-300 fleet, we will be saving over 42 million gallons of fuel per year.”
Besides the compelling cost savings, this fuel burn improvement also results in a reduction of 423,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO 2) emissions annually. CO
2 is believed to be a contributor to climate change.
“Not only are we obtaining a substantial fuel cost reduction, but we are helping to sustain our environment with the installation of these winglets,” Reding said.
Today, through its FuelSmart conservation program, American saves more than 95 million gallons of fuel annually. At today’s prices of approximately $2.00 per gallon for jet fuel, Blended Winglets are expected to save American about $84 million a year.
“We are absolutely pleased that the in-service performance of our existing products has convinced American Airlines to become our launch customer and flight test partner for the most ambitious development program we have undertaken to date,” said John Reimers, Aviation Partners Boeing President and CEO. “Given today’s high fuel prices and the proven benefits of our technology, we fully expect that the first couple of year’s worth of 767-300ER Blended Winglet delivery positions will sell-out at a record pace.”
American Maintenance Services would install the 767, 757 and 737 Blended Winglets on other Aviation Partners Boeing customers’ aircraft at its existing base maintenance facilities in Tulsa, Okla.; Kansas City, Mo.; or Fort Worth, Texas.
“We not only have a highly-experienced work force with an average of 16 years service, but we also have the technical and engineering capability and the facilities with sufficient capacity for such complex structural work. Our focus is to provide value to our customers that they will not find elsewhere,” Reding said.