Southwest and United sign long-term engine wash agreements with P&W to save fuel and emissions
Pratt & Whitney's EcoPower engine wash system
Wed 18 June 2008 – Against a backdrop of crippling fuel prices, US airlines are seeking every possible means to ensure their aircraft operate at peak efficiency. Southwest Airlines and United Airlines are the latest to sign multi-year agreements to use the EcoPower engine wash system offered by Pratt & Whitney Global Service Partners, which promises significant fuel savings and resulting reductions in CO2 emissions.
Southwest Airlines, the world’s largest operator of CFM56-7B engines, will use the system to save more than $20 million at today’s fuel costs and eliminate 135 million pounds (61,200 tonnes) of CO2 emissions each year. The airline is performing regular washes in Orlando and Oakland, where Pratt & Whitney has established new service centres.
United Airlines will implement the engine washes on all aircraft in its fleet before the end of the year and will begin offering the service to third-party customers. It will perform washes at a number of US airports including San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington, as well as at Singapore and Amsterdam. The airline projects a three million gallon saving in jet fuel annually, reducing CO2 emissions by around 28,000 tonnes. It has just announced that it expects its 2008 fuel bill to rise to $9.5 billion, an increase of $3.5 billion on a year ago.
“With unprecedented fuel costs, United continues to look for innovative solutions to save on jet fuel,” said Rick Wysong, Vice President Engineering, Materials and Planning. “In addition to saving fuel and improving engine performance, this system has the added benefit of being a faster, safer and more environmentally friendly way to clean our engines, enabling us to reduce our overall carbon dioxide emissions.”
EcoPower uses a closed-loop system with atomized water to wash aircraft engines, thus avoiding potential contaminant runoff. Pratt & Whitney says its patented system is more effective and much faster than traditional engine washing processes and extends time on-wing for operators of all major jet engines.