The world’s largest A320 customer has become a leading Asia-Pacific low-cost carrier by relying on this Airbus jetliner’s operational advantages, which will be further enhanced with the introduction of aircraft with new fuel-saving “Sharklets” in the coming months.
AirAsia has received 103 of the 175 A320ceo (current engine option) versions ordered from Airbus, with future new-built aircraft to be provided with Sharklets – starting from a delivery scheduled in December. An additional 200 A320neo (new engine option) jetliners also have been ordered by AirAsia, with all of these to be incorporating the Sharklets as standard equipment.
Zaman Ahmad, AirAsia’s Group Head, Customer Experience and Technology said the benefits of operating A320s include their high utilisation and the rapid turnaround times of 25 minutes at airports – which are keys to the success of its low-cost carrier business model.
“With the new Sharklets, it’s really great to continue working with a partner like Airbus – who understands exactly what a low-cost carrier like AirAsia strives to become: the leading low-cost airline in Asia, if not the world,” he said. “AirAsia is very proud to be the first to introduce Sharklets into service, and we will continue being a good partner with Airbus – so let’s build better planes together!”
The large Sharklets wingtip devices result in multiple benefits for operators – including lower fuel burn, reduced emissions, increased range and payload, better take-off performance and rate-of-climb, higher optimum altitude, reduced engine maintenance costs and higher residual aircraft value.