Qantas has announced it will add split scimitar winglets to 23 of its Boeing 737-800s currently in service.
This work will be conducted at its key maintenance facility in Brisbane, Queensland.
Qantas says that adding the new split scimitar winglets will increase the efficiency of their 737-800s, which are beginning to show signs of age.
Carbon emissions will be reduced. Additionally, the range of the aircraft will also be increased to see more significant fuel benefits.
Ultimately, efficiency should improve by 2%, primarily achieved by implementing those new winglets by reducing air drag. The Australian flag carrier described air drag as forming behind the aircraft.
When these Boeing 737s with current winglets are airborne, Qantas says to see airflow over the top and bottom of the wing, which creates a long spiral forming behind the tip of the wing.
This drag is generally labelled as not ideal. Qantas also adds that it puts additional resistance on the aircraft, which means more power; thus, fuel is burned to counter the feeling.
Qantas says it is currently selective with the aircraft it’ll add new winglets on.
This selective nature means the primary focus will be on implementing the split scimitar winglets on aircraft departing for some international destinations. Qantas cites locations such as Bali and Fiji as examples.
However, some focus will be placed on 737s chosen for domestic routes, which will also see improvements across its broader network.
The Qantas Group is undoubtedly entering a new era concerning its fleet, which started with significant aircraft orders to power its future.
However, at the backend of 2023, that new era was formally realised with the Group welcoming its first Airbus A220, a crucial part of the jigsaw to replace its ageing Boeing 717s.
Despite several new aircraft types slated to join the fleet, thus significantly dropping the average age and bringing greater efficiency, Qantas is still focusing on its existing fleet.
Enhancing the operational efficiency of the current fleet is essential to long-term success in the market. It is described as one of the many initiatives implemented by the Group to become more sustainable.