Airbus’ Sharklets are proving their popularity among customers with demand for the company’s “Sharklet In-service Retrofit” option, which allows operators of older in-service A320ceo (current engine option) Family aircraft to benefit from these wingtip devices’ significant cost savings and performance improvements – while deliveries also continue for the “Sharklet Production Retrofit” option on new-built CEO jetliners.
Following the first firm order for Airbus’ in-service retrofit offering – placed by JetBlue last year to equip 110 A320 Family jetliners in its fleet – total commitments have grown to 191 shipsets, plus 36 options. The option’s most recent customer is Turkish Airlines, with a firm order for 44 shipsets.
Overall, some 3,500 A320 CEO Family aircraft in service today are eligible to be retrofitted with Sharklets, which improve the aerodynamics for this benchmark single-aisle product line and significantly reduce fuel burn and emissions by up to four per cent.
The in-service retrofits of Sharklets are anticipated to begin during the first half of 2015. The procedure to install them includes certain wing structure modifications, as well as adjustments to flight control computer parameters.
For Airbus’ production retrofit option, available on new-built A320ceo jetliners with “Sharklet-ready” wings, deliveries are proceeding apace. Since early 2013, Airbus has signed with 18 customers for 53 shipsets – and a significant number of sales campaigns are underway, with a specific focus on the Asia-Pacific region.
This production retrofit option, offered since February 2013, is for new aircraft assembled with the latest production wing standard, which are capable of being fitted with Sharklets without any additional structural reinforcements, and only require adjustments to the flight control computer.
On all A320neo (new engine option) jetliners, which are to be delivered beginning in 2015, the Sharklets are included as standard equipment.