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Mon, Mar 30, 2009

First Austrian Boeing 767 Fitted With Winglets

More Winglet-ed Widebodies Head Overseas

On Friday, the first Austrian Airlines Boeing B767 (OE-LAE) to undergo a successful conversion to winglets' in the United States returned to Austria.

Austrian Airlines is the first European airline to convert four aircraft from its Boeing B767 fleet to use the new technology, placing it in a pioneering position. Since Austrian Airlines agreed the conversion deadlines at an early stage, the airline says it now enjoys "clear competitive advantage over other carriers" in regards to fuel savings.

Three of its aircraft will be converted as early as May 2009.

Dr. Peter Malanik, Chief Operations Officer of the Executive Board of the Austrian Airlines Group, said the carrier chose to make the move for efficiency and environmental reasons.

"By using winglets, we are caring for our environment and at the same time cutting back our fuel costs," he said. "We are doing pioneering work in Europe in this field, working on the basis that we will be able to save some 1,000 tons of kerosene a year on every aircraft converted. We are also increasing the range of the aircraft by around 670 km per flight, and can raise the payload to certain destinations by up to five tons.

"Our Boeing 767 fleet is distinguished by its ability to provide both the best possible passenger comfort and cutting-edge technology," Malanik added.

As ANN reported, American Airlines flew the first revenue flight with a 767 equipped with Aviation Partners Boeing's Blended Winglets earlier this month.



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