Low-cost carrier Southwest Airlines has placed an order for an additional 268 sets of blended winglets from Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) for its Boeing 737-700 and -800s, in a deal that is the biggest ever single order for the manufacturer.

Southwest had placed a previous order in 2003 to add blended winglets to all of its in-service 737-700s then, and ordered the winglets to be retrofitted on its 737-300s three years later.

Southwest airlines
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With the latest order, all of the airline's 737 Next Generation aircraft will be equipped with the winglets until it transitions to the re-engined 737 Max. Southwest has firm orders for 150 737 Max aircraft, which will be delivered from 2017.

"With more than 500 aircraft operating with our technology today, Southwest Airlines can expect over $150 million in annual fuel savings, while reducing their CO2 output by more than 580,000 tons per year," says Darren Waltier, APB's director of sales and contracts.

Almost 5,000 blended winglet systems are now in service worldwide on 737s, 757s and 767s operated by more than 200 airlines, says APB, which is a joint venture between Boeing and Aviation Partners.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news