Apart from implementing various strategic initiatives to boost
the profitability level and render greater customer satisfaction,
United Continental Holdings Inc.
) is taking measures to do its bit in making the world a greener
one. The company targets to save 85 million gallons of fuel in
2013. This is equivalent to almost 828,750 metric tons of carbon
dioxide or nearly $275 million in terms of fuel expense at
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Fuel being the biggest expense on part of the airline, United has
adopted several steps to ensure a fuel-efficient operating base.
Since 1994, the company has enhanced its fuel efficiency by 32%
via better flight planning, single engine taxiing and
light-weight in-flight products. The company also utilizes ground
power, when aircraft are parked, instead of the onboard secondary
power unit. This helps in saving fuel and reducing carbon
United is reconfiguring its fleet structure by investing in
advanced, fuel-friendly jets replacing the old and fuel-expensive
ones. Last year, the company placed an order to
The Boeing Company
) for 150 brand-new 737 narrow-body airplanes designed with
superior CFM engines.
Further, United introduced new Split Scimitar winglet that
curtail the pressure on the planes and minimizes fuel usage and
carbon emissions by up to 5%. These technologically upgraded
wingtips are fitted to the 737 Next-Gen aircraft, leading to
almost 25% of less fuel consumption per seat compared with the
737-500 jets. The company also has over 300 airplanes, including
the complete Boeing 737 fleet and most of its 757 and 767
aircraft, retrofitted with the winglets.
This fuel saving measure is part of the company's Eco-Skies
program that is directed to have positive effects on the
environment - while aircraft are in the air as well as on the
ground. Under this program, United become the first U.S.
passenger airline to operate flights on biofuel. The company has
also entered into deals to purchase over 50 million gallons of
sustainable biofuels in the coming months.
Additionally, the company collaborated with Boeing, UOP - a
Honeywell International Inc.
), the Chicago Department of Aviation and the Clean Energy Trust
to launch the Midwest Aviation Sustainable Biofuels Initiative
(MASBI) that is engaged with the commercialization of affordable
United Continental - that operates other industry players such as
)- currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).