15 November, 2022

Delta, & Aero Design Labs testing novel tech to further decrease aircraft emissions

Photo Delta

​Delta is taking another step toward its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 as it tests novel drag-reduction technology by Aero Design Labs on its 737-800 and 737-900 fleets. By reducing drag, aircraft are more aerodynamic and use less fuel while in flight.

The companies' memorandum of understanding includes testing and FAA certification of the technology for Delta's 737-800 aircraft starting in the first quarter of 2023, followed by the B737-900 fleet in the second half of the same year. Delta will have the option to purchase Aero Design Lab ADRS kits upon certification to outfit most of its more than 200 aircraft in the two fleets.  

"This is part of Delta's overall approach to taking short-, medium-, and long-term actions to reach our goal of net zero by 2050," said Pam Fletcher, Delta's Chief Sustainability Officer. "Our partnership with Aero Design Labs is a great example of how Delta continues to invest in new ways to modify our operations to make an immediate impact on our carbon footprint today, while we work on longer-term solutions to decarbonize our industry."

Chris Jones, Chief Commercial Officer Aero Design Labs added, "Delta Air Lines has a proven history of leading the industry in innovation and we are proud to formalize our agreement and partner in the process to achieve FAA certification. This is a partnership formed by Delta and Aero Design Labs to contribute to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) net zero 2050 carbon reduction targets."

Delta's world-class operations and unique technical capabilities mean that in 2022 alone, Delta expects to have reduced fuel consumption by over 10 million gallons through operational and fleet modifications, such as optimizing flight speeds, improved landing procedures, the installation of enhanced winglets and lightweight landing gear tires.

Mahendra Nair, Senior Vice President - TechOps Operations & Supply Chain Management added, "Delta is excited to expand our partnership with ADL to test and certify both the 737-900ER and 737-800NG drag reduction kits, continuing our investment in fuel efficiency and sustainability improvements."


Delta awarded for work toward fuel efficiency, alternative fuels

Photo Delta
Delta has been recognized for its sustainability efforts with two industry awards citing the airline's push for a more fuel-efficient fleet and work to develop alternative fuel sources as driving forces. 

Delta recently received both the Green Partner in Travel Award from the American Society of Travel Advisors as well as the North American Environmental Sustainability Airline/Airline Group of the Year award from the Centre of Aviation. 

The Green Partner in Travel Award focuses on the three pillars of sustainability – economic, environmental and social – and is voted on by the entirety of the ASTA board, which is made up of leaders from the travel industry around the U.S.   

The North American Environmental Sustainability Airline/Airline Group of the Year award was presented to Delta Nov. 3 at CAPA's annual Environmental Sustainability Awards for Excellence in Singapore. This award is determined through data-driven assessment of the sustainability performance of the world's airlines.  

"Decarbonizing the airline industry will take all of us doing more than our part by taking measurable short-, medium-, and long-term actions, partnering to share knowledge and making sustainability a key consideration across every business decision," said Pam Fletcher, Delta's Chief Sustainability Officer. "Data-backed innovation and goals are at the center of our approach to leading the way on behalf of our employees, customers and communities." 

Both organizations cited Delta's initiatives to make its fleet 25% more fuel efficient while moving toward alternative fuel sources as one of many driving forces behind the awards.