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American Airlines partners with Safran to reduce its environmental footprint with lighter, more efficient brakes


Walton (Kentucky - USA), December 13, 2022

As part of its commitment to minimize the environmental impact of air travel, American Airlines, the world’s largest operator by fleet size, has partnered with Safran Landing Systems to upgrade its Boeing 737NG fleet from steel to carbon brakes, representing more than 300 aircraft currently in operation.

Lighter than steel brakes, with up to 700 pounds (320 kg) of weight savings per aircraft, this upgrade to the Safran Landing Systems carbon brakes configuration will help American meet its sustainability commitments by reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 77 tons per Boeing 737NG aircraft every year.

Thanks to its superior energy absorption and twice the endurance of the steel configuration, the Safran Landing Systems brake, compatible with both Boeing 737NG and Boeing 737 MAX families, provides operators with a significant improvement in operational performance and delivers the lowest operating costs on the market.

This major initiative highlights Safran Landing System’s and American’s common sustainability values and reinforces their shared commitment of playing a leadership role in helping decarbonize the broader airline industry and meeting the aviation industry goal of net zero GHG emissions by 2050.

Kevin Brickner, American Airlines Senior Vice President of Technical Operations: “Ensuring our existing fleet — the youngest among U.S. network carriers — is operating as efficiently as possible is critical to reaching our climate goals. Reducing our flight weight with a superior braking product is a win-win for our operation.”   

Cédric Goubet, Safran Landing Systems CEO: “We are honored to begin this partnership on wheels and brakes with American Airlines, one of the largest airlines in the world. This partnership recognizes the excellence of our equipment, the high level of expertise of our teams as well as our Research & Technology efforts to reduce the impact of air transport on the environment. This collaboration is a great opportunity for Safran Landing Systems to increase its presence in the U.S. market and expand the growing activity of its Walton site.”

Safran Landing Systems will manufacture the wheels and carbon brakes and perform the carbon heat sinks exchanges in its state-of-the art production plant in Walton, Kentucky, which has over 350 highly qualified employees. American’s world-class Technical Operations team will complete the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul services at its base maintenance facility in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

This contract is provided under Landing LifeTM, the support and services offer which covers all Safran Landing Systems' after-sales business.

American Airlines signe un partenariat avec Safran pour réduire son empreinte environnementale grâce à des freins plus légers et performants
From left to right: Simon Gavillet (VP Sales, Marketing & Commercial Support Wheels & Brakes Division - Safran Landing Systems), Luc Philippe (Sales and Marketing Director - Safran Landing Systems), Kris Sorge (Manager, Strategic Sourcing and Contracts, Technical Operations - American Airlines), Mike Hanson (Director, Supplier Management - American Airlines), Cédric Goubet (CEO - Safran Landing Systems), Kevin Brickner (Senior VP, Technical Operations - American Airlines), Craig Harry (Managing Director, Technical Operations Supply Chain - American Airlines), Mark Miner (VP, Technical Services - American Airlines), Nicolas Potier (EVP, Wheels & Brakes Division - Safran Landing Systems), David Ternisien (Programs Director, Wheels & Brakes Division - Safran Landing Systems)

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Safran is an international high-technology group operating in the aviation (propulsion, equipment and interiors), space and defense markets. Its core purpose is to contribute to a safer, more sustainable world where air transport is more environmentally friendly, comfortable and accessible. Safran has a global presence, with 76,800 employees and sales of 15.3 billion euros in 2021 and holds, alone or in partnership, world or regional leadership positions in its core markets. Safran is listed on the Euronext Paris stock exchange and is part of the CAC 40 and Euro Stoxx 50 indices.

Safran Landing Systems is the world leader in aircraft landing and braking systems. Its expertise covers the entire life cycle of its products, from design and manufacturing to maintenance and repair. The company has partnerships with more than 25 airframers in civil, regional, commercial and military transport, supporting more than 32,000 aircraft and making over 80,000 landings gear every day.

For further details: safran-group.com  / Follow @Safran and @SafranLandingS on Twitter.

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  • © Chris Cone / Safran