Tour operator TUI Travel is to fit the new split-scimitar wing-tip to its Boeing 737-800s, becoming the first company in Europe to use them.

The wing-tips, which incorporate a new cap and a ventral strake, have been developed by Aviation Partners Boeing as an improvement on its standard blended winglet.

United Airlines has already agreed to take the new wing-tips for its 737s.

TUI says the first modified aircraft will fly from January 2014. It has not indicated which of its airlines will have the initial scimitar-equipped 737-800 but the type is used by several of its carriers including Thomson Airways, TUIfly and Arkefly.

TUI Travel scimitar 737

 TUI Travel

"Ordering these new winglets ahead of other airlines is part of TUI Travel's goal to continue operating Europe's most fuel-efficient airlines," says the tour operator.

It says the scimitar wing-tips will provide a 2% fuel saving on top of that achieved by the regular blended winglets.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news