UPS installing winglets on 767 freighter fleet

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Atlanta-based UPS is adding Aviation Partners Boeing blended winglets to its Boeing 767 freighter fleet and expects the modifications to contribute to savings of more than six million gallons of fuel annually.

UPS operates 54 Boeing 767 freighters, with five aircraft on order. It plans to have the winglets on all Boeing 767s installed by the end of 2014 and is now flying four 767s with winglets so far.

The carrier is installing the winglets through third-party vendors, including Delta TechOps, Boeing and Evergreen Aviation Technologies.

The cargo operator has already outfitted its Boeing 747s and MD-11 fleets with winglets.

The 3.35m (11ft) tall winglets will add 1.68m of span on each wing, increasing the weight of each 767 by 1,260kg (3,000lb). Despite the weight gain, UPS expects the winglets to contribute about 4% in fuel savings on each Boeing 767 flight and to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 62,000t.

UPS has a goal to reduce its carbon intensity by an additional 20% by 2020 from a 2005 baseline. It is undertaking other sustainability initiatives, including managing aircraft taxiing and optimising flight routes.

"UPS continues to lead the industry in sustainable business practices," said David Abney, UPS' chief operating officer. "With the widest portfolio of services in the industry, we are constantly looking for ways to reduce emissions, and drive down operating costs so our customers have the solutions they need to compete in a global economy. These winglets are a perfect example of sustainability in action. They are good business and good stewardship."