Korean partner is sole supplier of new wingtip fuel-saving devices
Airbus and Korean Air Aerospace Division (KAL-ASD) today celebrated the handover of the 1,000th fuel-saving Sharklet for the A320 Family and 25 years of partnership at a special ceremony at the Korean manufacturer’s facility in Busan.
Sharklets are 2.4 metre tall wingtip devices for the best-selling A320 Family that reduce fuel burn by up to four per cent or add extra flying range capability. Offered as an option on existing A320 Family models since the end of 2012, Sharklets will be a standard feature on the latest A320neo series, due for entry-into-service in 2015.
KAL-ASD was awarded the contract as sole supplier of Sharklets in 2010 and began series production in July 2012. The company last year achieved the capability to produce 50 shipsets per month at its assembly line in Busan. The facility features separate completion areas for sub-assemblies, painting and packaging, as well as robust performance and quality control systems.
In addition to Sharklets, KAL-ASD also currently supplies Airbus with fuselage skin panels and floor assemblies for the A330, as well as all-composite cargo doors for the new A350 XWB.
“We are pleased to be delivering the 1000th Sharklet today and also to celebrate 25 years of industrial partnership between KAL-ASD and Airbus,” said Walter Cho, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Korean Air Group. “We will look forward to developing further this mutually beneficial cooperation and to KAL-ASD increasing its contribution to Airbus aircraft programmes as a Tier 1 partner.”
“Over 25 years Korean Air Aerospace has become a key partner of Airbus, consistently meeting our expectations on quality, time and cost,” said Tom Williams, Executive Vice President, Programmes, Airbus. “The delivery of the 1000th Sharklet is a celebration of the contribution that KAL-ASD has made to bringing new levels of efficiency to the singe aisle market aboard the A320 Family.”
The A320 Family is the world’s best-selling single aisle product line. As of end January 2014, the A320 Family had accumulated over 10,100 firm orders, with more than 5,900 aircraft delivered. The latest version A320neo, featuring new engines and Sharklets, currently has a 60 per cent market share for orders compared to its nearest competitor.