United has achieved 83.28 million gallons of fuel savings and 809,700 metric tonnes of reduction in CO2 (carbon dioxide) emission through technological improvements, like the use of standard and advanced Split Scimitar winglets, as well as simple logical improvements that large airlines tend to ignore. While we can attribute 58% of the fuel savings to the company’s use of winglets, 25% of the savings was because of efficient route planning.
- Winglets: Winglets are used in aircraft to increase fuel efficiency. More than 360 of United’s aircraft are equipped with winglets, which improve fuel efficiency by 3% to 5%. United is also the first airline to fly with the new Split Scimitar winglets. This new winglet performs better than the standard winglets most other airlines use, as it results in an additional 2% savings in carbon emission and noise.
- Flight planning: United has managed to save 21.2 million gallons of fuel and 207,000 metric tonnes of CO2 by planning more direct and efficient routes.
United’s attention to detail is impressive, as it has achieved almost 13.68 million gallons of fuel savings and 1,32,700 metric tonnes of CO2 reduction through:
- Improving aircrafts aerodynamics though performance improvement packages
- Reducing weight by replacing steel brakes with carbon brakes, removing unnecessary cabin equipment, and optimizing the volume of potable water onboard
- Routine engine washing, which reduces drag
- Modifying engines
- Reducing use of aircraft’s own auxiliary power units (or APUs) when they’re parked and using alternative methods to provide air conditioning and electric power.
Standard winglets are used by all United’s (UAL) competitors, including Delta (DAL), American Airlines (AAL), Southwest (LUV), and JetBlue (JBLU). In addition to focusing on fuel efficiency and carbon management, United has also invested in cost-efficient alternate fuels and waste management and was named “Airline of the Year” by Air Transport World magazine’s Eco Aviation for showing increased responsibility towards the environment.