As part of a $1 billion plan to improve customer service and operational efficiency, Delta Airlines will remodel existing aircraft to improve fuel efficiency, instead of purchasing newer models, reports the Denver Post.
Delta will spend about $300 million a year through the middle of 2013 on the effort, which also includes upgrades such as better seats and airport VIP lounges.
Delta is installing winglets, or vertical stabilizing fins at the tips of wings, that help improve fuel efficiency as much as 5 percent.
As an example of the fuel savings that the winglets can provide, when Air New Zealand upgraded five planes with winglets, it found expected savings of 16,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually and more than NZ$7.5 million in fuel.
More than 170 Boeing 767, 757 and 737 jets will receive the upgrade, reports NY Daily News.
Delta is involved in other efforts to improve its fuel efficiency and sustainability.
Delta is part of an alliance of eight airlines at Los Angeles International Airport that agreed to a multi-year deal to use renewable synthetic diesel for ground service equipment operations. The deal, which calls for up to 1.5 million gallons of the synthetic fuel, will not take effect until late 2012, when the fuel will be commercially available.
In 2007, Delta began offering passengers the option of offsetting carbon emissions associated with their flights.