Air Arabia (PJSC), the first and largest low-cost carrier in the Middle East and North Africa, has selected Sharklets for 28 out of 44 A320 aircraft ordered by the airline. Deliveries of these Sharklet-equipped Airbus aircraft will begin from the second quarter of 2013.
Delivery of Air Arabia’s order of 44 Airbus A320s (34 placed in 2007 and 10 in 2008) has already started in the last quarter of 2010 and will make the carrier one of the region’s largest A320 operators with one of the most modern single-aisle fleets.
“Air Arabia is on the path of a reasonable expansion, in-line with the company’s vision to become one of the world’s leading airlines in terms of eco-efficiency, profit margin, innovation, and operational excellence. This new order will further contribute to the airline’s operational efficiency when we take delivery of the first Sharklet-equipped A320s in 2013,” said Adel Ali, Board Member and Group CEO of Air Arabia.
“We are delighted that Air Arabia has taken the opportunity to maximise the capability and efficiency of its future A320 fleet by equipping them with our fuel-saving Sharklets,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers. “The popular A320 Family already has the best reliability, highest revenue-generation and the lowest operating costs of any single-aisle aircraft in its class, and with the new Sharklets, customers like Air Arabia will benefit even more,” he adds.
Sharklets were launched for development in 2009. These new wingtip devices are around 2.5 metres tall and further enhance the efficiency of the popular A320 Family by replacing the aircraft’s current wingtip fence. Offered as an option on new-build aircraft from the end of 2012, the devices reduce fuel burn particularly over longer sectors. As well as increasing payload-range and improving take-off performance, Sharklets result in around 3.5 percent reduced fuel burn over longer sectors, corresponding to an annual CO2 reduction of around 700 tonnes per aircraft.
Air Arabia already operates a large fleet of new and leased A320s. From its main hubs, Sharjah in the UAE, Casablanca in Morocco, Alexandria in Egypt, the carrier serves a network of more than 65 international routes across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
The A320 Family (A318, A319, A320 and A321) is recognised as the benchmark single-aisle aircraft family. Nearly 7,000 Airbus A320 Family aircraft have been ordered and more than 4,600 delivered to more than 320 customers and operators worldwide, making it the world’s best-selling commercial jetliner ever.