Sichuan Airlines, the largest all Airbus operator in China, has taken delivery of its first A321 aircraft equipped with Sharklets fuel saving wing tip devices. It will also be the first A321 with Sharklets to be operated in China. The A321, powered by IAE V2500 engines, features a comfortable two class cabin, seating 194 passengers with 8 in business class and 186 in economy.
Sichuan Airlines is China’s largest all Airbus operator. It introduced an A320 in 1995 to become the first Chinese airline to operate an Airbus fly-by-wire aircraft. It was also the first airline to operate Airbus A321 in China. In 2009, the airline received the first A320 assembled at the Airbus Tianjin Final Assembly. Thanks to the unique commonality between Airbus aircraft, the airline was able to smoothely expand its fleet to larger and more fuel-efficient models. With the introduction of this A321 with Sharklets, the airline is able to further increase its capacity to meet the growing demand for air travel in China, particularly in the southwestern part of the country, where its hub is based.
By the end of August 2013, Sichuan Airlines operates a fleet of six A330s and 75 A320 Family aircraft.
The A321 is the largest member of the best-selling single aisle A320 Family. Sharklets are made from light-weight composites and are 2.4 meters tall. They are an option on new-build A320 Family aircraft and standard on all members of the new A320neo family. They offer operators up to four per cent fuel burn reduction on longer range sectors and provide the flexibility of either adding an additional 100 nautical miles range or increased payload capability of up to 450 kilograms.
The A320 Family is the world’s best-selling and most modern single aisle aircraft Family. To date, over 9,800 aircraft have been ordered and more than 5,700 delivered to more than 385 customers and operators worldwide. With proven reliability and extended servicing periods, the A320 Family has the lowest operating costs of any single-aisle aircraft.