Seeking to ready its fleet for further expansion into the international market, Delta Air Lines Inc. has installed blended winglets on more than 60 of its Boeing aircraft.

The winglets, which are attached to the plane’s wingtips to improve aerodynamics, make the planes more fuel efficient, allowing the airline to save on costs and use existing planes to stretch into longer routes.

“We expect to see a minimum of 3.5 percent improvements in our fuel consumption and a minimum of 5 percent in our range thanks to this added technology,” said Jim Whitehurst, Delta’s Chief Operating Officer.

Because of the new technology, Delta will be able to choose its benefit: 200-350 more nautical miles of range (depending on the plane), or the ability to carry up to 49 more passengers over a 4,000-mile span.

Installing the winglets will help Delta reach its goal of international expansion, providing benefits that otherwise would have depended on the production of new aircraft.

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