Ryanair says that a winglet retrofit will reduce the carrier’s annual fuel consumption by 65 million litres and cut carbon emissions by 165,000 tonnes.

The low-cost carrier has installed Split Scimitar Winglets to the first of over 400 of its B737-800 Next Generation aircraft, as part of a $175 million agreement with Aviation Partners Boeing (APB).

Winglets, or wingtip devices, are attached to a plane’s wings to improve fuel efficiency by reducing aerodynamic drag.

On APB’s website, it says that the Split Scimitar Winglets “redefine the aerodynamics of the existing Blended Winglet on the Boeing 737NG family” .

Ryanair’s director of sustainability, Thomas Fowler, said:

“This winglet technology will help us reach our ambitious environmental targets on our pathway to net zero emissions by 2050. We are impressed with APB’s innovative winglet designs and look forward to having them installed on not just this first aircraft but on over 400 of our aircraft to further reduce our emissions.”

APB’s chief commercial officer, Patrick LaMoria, added:

“Having the operator of the world’s largest fleet of 737-800 Next Generation aircraft install Split Scimitar Winglets is the ultimate endorsement of APB and its products. We are both humbled and honoured to continue to support Ryanair in their ambitious sustainability initiatives.”

Ryanair is projected to carry 225 million passengers by 2026, and aims to become net-zero by 2050.