Korean Air Aerospace to manufacture new A320 Family “Sharklets”

Manufacturer selected as sole supplier for new energy-saving wingtip device

31 May 2010 Press Release

Korean Air Aerospace Division, the aerospace manufacturing division of the Korean Air Group, has been selected by Airbus as sole supplier of the new Airbus-designed "Sharklet” wingtip devices for the best-selling A320 Family of Single Aisle aircraft.

Under the terms of the agreement Korean Air Aerospace will manufacture the new composite wingtip devices and supply them to the A320 Family final assembly lines in Toulouse, Hamburg and Tianjin. The first A320 fitted with Sharklets will be delivered from the end of 2012.

Launched for development in October last year, the new wingtip devices, which are around 2.5 metres tall, will further enhance the efficiency of the popular A320 Family by replacing the current wingtip fence on the A320 Family. Offered as an option, the devices will reduce fuel burn particularly over longer sectors. As well as increasing payload-range and improving take-off performance, the devices are expected to result in around 3.5 percent reduced fuelburn over longer sectors, corresponding to an annual CO2 reduction of around 700 tonnes per aircraft. 

Korean Air Aerospace is a long-term partner of Airbus, with a relationship dating back more than  20 years. The manufacturer is currently participating in a wide range of programmes for various Airbus aircraft, including elevator sections for the A320 Family, fuselage skin panels and floor assemblies for the A330/A340 Family, and the cargo doors for the new A350 XWB.

The A320 Family is recognised as the benchmark in the single-aisle aircraft category. Over 6,500 aircraft from the Family have already been sold and more than 4,200 delivered to some 300 customers and operators worldwide. The development of the new wingtip devices is part of the larger continuous improvement programme for the A320 Family which is supported by an annual investment in excess of 100 million euros each year.