PARIS, June 19, 2007 – Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) will continue to build on its international expansion by installing Blended Winglets on more than 60 Boeing 737-NG, 757-200 and 767-300ER aircraft types. The improvement will provide greater flexibility to serve more markets with existing aircraft, further enhancing the largest international expansion in Delta’s history. Blended winglets are wing tip devices that reduce drag thanks to improved aerodynamics, resulting in a reduction in fuel usage.
“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 improvements in our fuel consumption and a minimum of 5 percent in our range thanks to this added technology. Our customers will benefit from Delta’s ability to offer more destinations, and Delta benefits from new efficiencies that will improve our operations and better the environment.”
Delta will have the winglets installed on 38 737-NGs, 10 757-200 and 15 767-300ER aircraft by Aviation Partners Boeing, with options to install on all aircraft in the three fleets. As a result, the 737-NG type aircraft, which is currently receiving 10 additional seats and a state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment system, will easily operate coast-to-coast. The 10 757-200 aircraft are being retrofitted with Delta’s award-winning Business Elite product as well as other international requirements and will be ideal aircraft for service between the Northeast region of the U.S. and Western Europe. The 767-300ER aircraft will realize both extended range and expanded payload capability which will open up new market possibilities for Delta’s customers and increase cargo sales opportunities.
“There is no doubt we will realize substantial savings thanks to reduced fuel burn as a result of the winglet installation,” continued Whitehurst. “But in addition to that, we’ll also be able to examine new market possibilities for our customers and add to our long list of environmental initiatives, which includes a 30-year history of focusing on fuel savings.”
“Blended Winglets are the perfect product at the perfect time for the fast-growing expansion of Delta’s international routes,” Aviation Partners Boeing CEO John Reimers said. “The significance of Delta committing to winglets for three aircraft types cannot be overstated.”
The winglet technology will provide Delta’s 757-200 aircraft with 200 nautical miles of additional range, or they can carry up to 49 additional passengers on 4,000 mile routes. The 767-300ER aircraft will gain more 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 otherwise would have had to wait for the development of new aircraft types.