New blended winglets installed on Air New Zealand’s fleet of Boeing 767-300ER aircraft have helped deliver 19% higher fuel savings than forecast.

The airline initially expected to save over six million litres of fuel a year with new performance-enhancing blended winglets on its fleet of five Boeing 767 aircraft.

Now, however, with winglets fitted to four aircraft, fuel savings are 19% higher than predicted and the fuel usage by the fleet is expected to reduce by over seven million litres and 18,400 tonnes of carbon emissions annually, the airline says.

Air New Zealand airline operations general manager Captain David Morgan said the installation of the blended winglets is part of the carrier’s on-going drive to be the world’s most environmentally sustainable airline.

Additionally, the blended winglets provide additional commercial benefits for aircraft operating services on longer sectors and enable the aircraft to climb faster and improve payload performance.

The final aircraft is now being refitted and will be back in service in early November.