Airbus’ fuel-saving and performance-enhancing Sharkets will soon become a familiar sight in the Asia-Pacific region as the first A320 with these largewingtip devices is readied for its service entry with AirAsia.
Handover of the initial Sharklets-equipped A320 to AirAsia occurred today, marking another milestone for this important customer – the largest low-cost carrier in Asia, which has ordered the most A320 Family jetliners of any airline operator.
By helping reduce the spiral-shaped vortices formed at an aircraft’s wingtips during flight, Sharklets further improve the A320’s aerodynamics. This contributes to a lowering of the jetliner’s fuel consumption and emissions, an enhancement of takeoff performance, increased range and payload capability, improved rate-of-climb, a raising of the optimum flight altitude, and a lowering of engine maintenance costs.
Built with lightweight composite materials, the 2.4-metre-tall Sharklets are manufactured by the Korean Air Group’s Korean Air Aerospace Division.
For AirAsia, the Sharklets will be fitted on new A320 Family jetliners received by the airline, beginning with today’s delivery. In total, AirAsia has ordered 475 of the Airbus single-aisle aircraft, of which more than 100 already have been provided to the airline.
Sharklets are available as an option on new-build A320ceo (current engine option) Family aircraft, and are standard on all members of Airbus’ A320neo (new engine option) Family.