Air New Zealand expects the introduction of fuel-saving technology on some of its international fleet will help keep costs down as it struggles with the global downturn in air travel.
The first of its five Boeing 767-300 planes has been fitted with blended winglets, which are attached to the wing to reduce drag.
Air New Zealand general manager of airline operations David Morgan says the $20 million cost of the winglets will be paid for by fuel savings within three years.
He anticipates the use of the winglets will result in at least 4% less fuel used.
Air New Zealand will also install zonal dryers to reduce moisture trapped between the outer layer and cabin lining, making the plane lighter and reducing fuel use.