A Modern Fleet Helps Shrink Your Carbon Footprint in the Clouds

AA Winglets can reduce fuel consumption by 4%.

Carbon dioxide, or CO2, is one of the primary gases contributing to global climate change. Although aviation emissions account for only 2 percent of all man-made CO2, conscientious consumers know that air travel still leaves a carbon footprint in the clouds.

American and its regional affiliate, American Eagle, operate nearly 900 aircraft, and jet fuel far exceeds all other forms of energy consumed across our operations. Putting more fuel-efficient planes in the air is the most effective way to reduce our carbon footprint and yours, every time you fly. To that end, we’ve begun retiring our inventory of older McDonnell Douglas MD-80aircraft. By the end of 2010, we had taken delivery of 76 new Boeing 737-800 aircraft, which are 35 percent more fuel-efficient than the MD-80s they replace—in part because the 737 features Blended Winglets™ (see sidebar).

In addition, in October 2008 American entered into an agreement to purchase an initial 42 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, with an option to buy up to 58 additional 787s. The technologically advanced 787, due to begin service during fourth quarter 2014, will use 20 percent less fuel than today's airplanes of comparable size.

Since 2005, we’ve implemented initiatives that cut our CO2 emissions by one million metric tons per year. Our long-term goal is to improve our fuel efficiency by 30 percent within 20 years (using 2005 as our baseline year). Upgrading our fleet with new, lighter, more fuel-efficient jets that also offer our passengers more comfort and amenities will continue to be one of our chief strategies for reaching that goal.

Big Fuel Savings from Little Winglets

Winglets are small wing tip extensions that are standard on many newer passenger jets and can be added to some older aircraft. Though diminutive in size, winglets can cut inflight fuel consumption by a significant 3.5 to 4 percent on flights longer than 1,000 nautical miles. By installing winglets on our 767-300ER fleet, in addition to the already installed 737 and recently completed 757 fleets, we stand to save up to 47 million gallons of fuel and reduce CO2 emissions by 450,000 metric tons annually.

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