Austrian is first European airline to convert B767
3 September 2009
On 27 March 2009, the first Austrian Boeing B767 (OE-LAE) to undergo a successful conversion to ‘winglets’ in the USA returned to Austria. Winglets are upturned ends on the tips of the wings of passenger aircraft which improve its aerodynamics. This leads to significantly lower fuel consumption and accordingly a reduction in costs, as well as an improved environment protection.
Austrian Airlines is the first European airline to convert four aircraft from its Boeing B767 fleet to use the new technology, placing it in a pioneering position. Since Austrian Airlines agreed the conversion deadlines at an early stage, Austrian now enjoys clear competitive advantage over other carriers. Three of its aircraft will be converted as early as May 2009.
Dr. Peter Malanik, Chief Operations Officer of the Executive Board of the Austrian Airlines Group, said the following about the measure: “By using winglets, we are caring for our environment and at the same time cutting back our fuel costs. We are doing pioneering work in Europe in this field, working on the basis that we will be able to save some 1,000 tons of kerosene a year on every aircraft converted.
“We are also increasing the range of the aircraft by around 670 km per flight, and can raise the payload to certain destinations by up to five tons. Our Boeing 767 fleet is distinguished by its ability to provide both the best possible passenger comfort and cutting-edge technology.”
Long-term cooperation: Austrian Airlines and the Austrian Air Force
The newly-converted aircraft was escorted by the Austrian Air Force upon its return into Austrian airspace, when it successfully simulated a carefully prepared practice interception. The exceptional long-term partnership between the red-white-red airline and the Austrian Air Force ensures that the Air Force is comprehensively prepared for crisis situations, and in a position to intervene successfully in the event of an emergency. Austrian Airlines is one of the safest airlines in the world, enabling it to support the level of security of Austrian civil aviation as a whole.
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