Why winglets matter to investors
The wings of an aircraft generate the lift to hold the aircraft when it pushes through the air, as we saw in the last article of this series.
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The cost of a winglet ranges from $600,000 to $2,350,000 per aircraft, and because of rising fuel costs, winglets have resulted in significant cost savings (as shown in the table below). Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) estimates that over the past ten years, it has sold 7,000 blended winglet systems and has saved 4.1 billion gallons of fuel for airlines worldwide.
United is the first airline to fly with the new Split Scimitar winglets
United has partnered with Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) to launch the Split Scimitar winglet. The new winglet is expected to save more than 45,000 gallons of fuel per aircraft per year when installed on 737-800 aircraft. In 1Q14, United used the new winglet in 737-800 aircraft and expects to install it on more than 80 aircraft by the end of 2014. The winglet costs $555,000, and United (UAL), Alaska (ALK), and Southwest (LUV) are the first few customers of this new winglet. All United’s other peers, including Delta (DAL), American Airlines (AAL), and JetBlue (JBLU), use standard winglets for fuel efficiency.