Airbus has delivered the first A320 equipped with Sharklets to AirAsia, which becomes the first operator of the new fuel-saving large wing tip devices. Sharklets are an option on new-build A320 Family aircraft, and are standard on all members of the A320neo Family.
Sharklets are made from light-weight composites and are 2.4m tall. These newly designed wing-tip devices reduce fuel burn and emissions by improving the aerodynamics of the aircraft significantly. Cutting airlines’ fuel bills by around four percent, Sharklets will offer the flexibility to A320 Family operators of either adding around 100 nautical miles more range or allowing increased payload capability of up to 450kg.
“We are extremely proud to be the first airline in the world to take delivery of an A320 fitted with Airbus’ new, fuel saving Sharklets,” says Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, group CEO, AirAsia . “AirAsia has a long-standing, special relationship with Airbus and as we grow our network with our all A320 fleet, these new wing tip devices will contribute to fulfilling our goal of being the most efficient, innovative low cost airline in the world.”
“As our biggest A320 Family airline customer, it’s very fitting that AirAsia is the first carrier to benefit from the four percent fuel saving our new Sharklets deliver,” says John Leahy, COO, Airbus, Customers. “AirAsia’s vision is to make is possible for everyone to fly and now with their Sharklet-equipped A320s they can assure their passengers that they are also travelling on board the world’s most environmentally friendly single-aisle aircraft.”
Due to the very strong customer demand for Sharklets, all Airbus’ single-aisle final assembly lines (FALs) will be engaged in building A320 Family aircraft with Sharklets. These FALs are located in Toulouse, France, Hamburg, Germany, and Tianjin, China, and will soon be followed by an additional A320 FAL in Mobile, AL.