Winglets, which are vertical fins on the end of each aircraft wing, are designed to improve aerodynamics.
The Dallas-based airline’s original order in 2003 was for 169 so-called “blended winglets” with an option for more through this year. The new order is Aviation Partners Boeing’s largest single order in its history.
Southwest said in 2003 that the winglets would lower fuel costs, reduce takeoff noise and let it fly longer distances.
Southwest can expect the winglets to bring more than $150 million in annual fuel savings, while reducing their carbon dioxide output by more than 580,000 tons a year, said Darren Waltier, director of sales and contracts for Aviation Partners Boeing.
Aviation Partners Boeing estimates that its winglets have helped more than 200 airlines worldwide save more than 3.3 billion gallons of jet fuel so far. Aviation Partners Boeing is a joint venture of The Boeing Co. and Aviation Partners Inc.