Ryanair Group Begins Its Boeing 737NG Fleet Winglet Retrofit

Ryanair winglet
Credit: Ryanair

Ryanair Group has begun the task of equipping its fleet of more than 400 Boeing 737-800s with sets of Split Scimitar winglets, a move that the Ireland-based airline group says will reduce its CO2 emissions by some 165,000 tons annually. 

Ryanair has about 409 737-800s in its fleet; these are currently equipped with earlier-generation blended winglets. Under a $175 million agreement with Aviation Partners Boeing (APB), the fleet will be retrofitted with the newer Split Scimitar winglets. The company’s incoming fleet of 737 MAX 8-200s uses Boeing’s factory-installed Advanced Technology winglet. 

Ryanair says that replacing the older winglets on the 737-800s will improve aircraft fuel efficiency by up to 1.5%, reducing Ryanair’s annual fuel consumption by 65 million liters (17 million gal.). Ryanair Group’s airlines include its main Ryanair carrier, with 230 737-800s; Ryanair UK, with nine; Poland-based charter carrier Buzz, with 46; Malta Air with 125; subsidiary Lauda Europe operates an all-Airbus fleet. Fleet delineations are per Aviation Week Network’s Fleet Discovery. 

“As Europe’s most environmentally efficient major airline, we are leading the way in sustainable aviation, as demonstrated by this investment in our fleet,” 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 ... look forward to having them installed on not just this first aircraft but on over 400 of our aircraft to further reduce our emissions.” 

“Having the operator of the world’s largest fleet of 737-800 Next Generation aircraft install Split Scimitar Winglets is the ultimate endorsement,” APB Chief Commercial Officer Patrick LaMoria said. 

Aviation Partners Boeing is a Seattle-based joint venture of Aviation Partners and Boeing. Since forming in 1999, airlines have placed orders for more than 9,900 of APB’s winglet systems.

Alan Dron

Based in London, Alan is Europe & Middle East correspondent at Air Transport World.