Air New Zealand has taken delivery of its first Airbus A320 equipped with fuel-saving Sharklets, at a ceremony during the 50th Le Bourget Paris Air Show.
The Sharklet-equipped Airbus A320 was officially handed over at Le Bourget to Capt. David Morgan, the airline’s chief flight operations and safety officer.
Airbus launched the Sharklet during the November 2009 Dubai air show, and Air New Zealand was the first customer to commit to the fuel-saving wing-tip devices.
“The A320 is at the core of Air New Zealand’s domestic fleet and the airline is committed to moving all domestic flying to this aircraft type to reap the efficiency gains it offers,” says Morgan.
“Sharklets deliver a fuel burn reduction of up to 4 per cent and will help Air New Zealand become even more efficient in one of the world’s most competitive markets,” says John Leahy, Airbus’ chief operating officer – customers.
Air New Zealand will take delivery of a total of 10 Sharklet-equipped A320s.
Sharklets are an option on new-build Airbus A320ceo (current engine option) -family aircraft and will be standard on all members of the Airbus A320neo family.
The new wing-tip devices measure 2.4 meters (7.9 feet) tall, replacing the A320’s current wing tip fence. They offer the flexibility to A320-family operators of either adding around 100 nautical miles (185 kilometers) more range or an increased payload capability of up to 450 kilograms (990lb).
So far more than 70 Sharklet-equipped aircraft have been delivered to over 20 customers. In total some 44 customers have ordered A320-family jets equipped with Sharklets.
To date, more than 9,400 A320-family aircraft have been ordered and over 5,500 delivered to more than 385 customers and operators worldwide.