Sichuan Airlines, the largest all Airbus fleet operator in China, has taken delivery of its first A320 aircraft equipped with Sharklets, joining the rapidly increasing group of Airbus single-aisle aircraft operators benefiting from the latest fuel saving aerodynamic devices.
The A320, powered by IAE V2500 engines, features a comfortable two class cabin, seating 164 passengers with eight in business class and 156 in economy.
“As the first airline to introduce Airbus fly-by-wire aircraft in China, Sichuan Airlines has benefited from the low cost and highly reliable Airbus aircraft. Thanks to the commonality of Airbus aircraft, we were able to seamlessly introduce the wide body A330 Family aircraft into our fleet. With the introduction of this A320 with Sharklets, we will be able to further optimise our route network and bring a high level of comfort to our passengers as well as further reducing our operational cost”, said Li Haiying, General Manager of Sichuan Airlines Co., Ltd.
“We are proud to be part of Sichuan Airlines’ success story. They were first Chinese airline to operate the A320, the first to take delivery of an A320 assembled at Airbus’ Tianjin Final Assembly Line, and now one of the first with Sharklets in China,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers. “The Sharklets will deliver up to four per cent reduction in fuel burn and make the airline even more competitive across China and Asia”, said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers.
Sichuan Airlines is China’s largest all Airbus fleet operator. It introduced an A320 in 1995 to become the first Chinese airline to operate an Airbus fly-by-wire aircraft. In 2009, the airline received the first A320 assembled at the Airbus Final Assembly Line China (FALC) in Tianjin. Now it operates a fleet of five A330s and 70 A320 Family aircraft.
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, nearly 9,500 aircraft have been ordered and nearly 5,600 delivered to more than 380 customers and operators worldwide. With proven reliability and extended servicing periods, the A320 Family has the lowest operating costs of any single-aisle aircraft.