Finnair first to commit to A321s with Sharklets

Finnair first to commit to A321s with Sharklets

Fleet harmonisation aims at lower fuel consumption and eco-efficiency

10 June 2010 Press Release

Finnair has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for five Airbus A321s equipped with the new fuel-saving Sharklet wing tip devices, becoming the world’s first airline to commit to the A321 with Sharklets. The increased eco-efficiency of the A321 with Sharklets will offer Finnair a four per cent fuel saving on specific Finnair routes compared to today’s aircraft.

This commitment is part of an extensive harmonisation study by Finnair to bring new cost efficiencies to its fleet. This renewal allows Finnair to benefit from economies of scale, with cross crew qualification and mixed fleet flying that are unique attributes of the Airbus family.
Deliveries of A321s with Sharklets are scheduled to begin in 2013.

“Finnair sees the new “Sharklets” option as a significant jump ahead in terms of fuel-burn savings, reduced maintenance costs and payload-range performance improvement”, says Mika Vehviläinen, President and CEO, Finnair. This option enables us to harmonise all our medium haul operations. We would also benefit further from the unique commonality aspects of the Airbus family cockpit, such as lower pilot and maintenance training costs.”

“We are pleased that despite the difficult economic environment and the challenges faced by European airlines, Finnair had the courage to look ahead and take a definitive step towards greener aviation,” says John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers.  “We have been working in close cooperation with Finnair since 1998, and this is not the first time Finnair has shared a first with us. Our Finnish partners were the first to make a firm order for 11 A350 XWB aircraft in 2007.”

Finnair currently operates an Airbus fleet of 41 aircraft: 29 A320 Family aircraft and 12 A330s/A340s.

Airbus’ Sharklet wingtip devices are designed to enhance the eco-efficiency and payload-range performance of the A320 Family. They are expected to result in at least 3.5 percent reduced fuel burn over longer sectors, corresponding to an annual CO2 reduction of around 700 tonnes per aircraft.

The A320 Family (A318, A319, A320 and A321) is recognised as the benchmark single-aisle aircraft family. With over 6,500 aircraft sold, and more than 4,300 aircraft delivered to some 310 customers and operators worldwide, the A320 Family is the world’s best-selling single-aisle aircraft family.