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AirTran Takes Off with Blended Winglets

AirTran Airways today announced that its
first Boeing 737-700 aircraft with Blended Winglets was placed into service on
September 13, 2005, on flight 502 from Miami to Atlanta.The winglets, manufactured by Aviation Partners Boeing as a joint venture
between Aviation Partners Inc. and The Boeing Company, are eight-foot vertical
extensions of the aircraft’s wingtips. The new winglet technology improves the
efficiency of the wing in both takeoff and cruise contributing to an annual
fuel savings of approximately 90,000 gallons of fuel per aircraft per year.
  AirTran Airways has ordered winglets for 15 of its Boeing 737s leased from
General Electric Commercial Aviation Service (GECAS), and has options to add
winglets to future deliveries of new Boeing 737s. Installation of the winglets
will continue into early 2006.
  “Blended Winglet technology has been proven to reduce fuel consumption and
increase aircraft performance. In this time of high energy costs, we are
investing in new technology to improve the efficiency of our operation,” said
Robert L. Fornaro, AirTran Airways’ president and chief operating officer. “At
AirTran Airways, we keep our costs down so we may continue to offer low fares
and great value to our customers.”