Hawaiian Airlines unveils fuel-saving upgrade for airliners

Hawaiian Airlines unveils fuel-saving upgrade for airliners
Mark Dunkerley
Mark Dunkerley

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - At Hawaiian Airlines transpacific terminal where the wide body's roll in and out, Hawaiian's newest look 767 is on deck.

The carrier's going green.

"Lower fuel burn. Lower carbon emission," CEO Mark Dunkerley said.

Dunkerley said winglets will make the difference.

Winglets are eleven-foot tall extensions built onto the wingtips of Hawaiian's fleet of 767s that fly to and from the mainland. They're designed to reduce drag.

"The winglets improve the lift of the wing and that means that the aircraft becomes more efficient. It reduces the amount of fuel it takes to fly," Dunkerley said.

Hawaiian has used one modified jet for a couple of mainland round trips. It estimates the wingtips saved 700 to 800 gallons of jet fuel.

Hawaiian has been interested in winglet technology for several years.

It's one of the first carriers to put them on B767's.

"In order to install the winglets they have to essentially uncover the entire wing because the winglet is actually attached to the structure of the wing itself," Dunkerley said.

It takes a month to install two winglets at $2 million per airplane for parts and labor

Hawaiian is spending the money when the price of jet fuel today is lower than it was a year ago.

"The price of fuel goes up and down so you can never make a long term commitment like this based on tomorrow's price of fuel," Dunkerley said.

By next spring Hawaiian will have eight winglet jets in its fleet.

Winglets will also be standard on Hawaiian's Airbus aircraft.