Sharklets for Air New Zealand A320s

A320-SHARKLET_ANZ_IAE_V05_HD.jpgFirst, an apology. It has been pretty crazy these last few weeks with back to back to back work trips (I am writing this from Dubai) – and so the blog has not been updated as often as I would have liked. But here goes.

Air New Zealand will be the first airline to operate the Airbus A320s with the airframer’s new “Sharklet” large wingtip devices. These will “enhance the eco-efficiency and payload-range performance of the A320 family”, says Airbus. It will have at least 3.5% reduced fuel burn over longer sectors, corresponding to an annual CO2 reduction of around 700 tonnes per aircraft.

The A320 will be the first model fitted with Sharklets, which will be delivered around the end of 2012, to be followed by the other A320 Family models from 2013. Air New Zealand is the launch customer for the Sharklets, which are specified for its future A320 fleet.

It will be interesting to see how Boeing reacts to this move. Fuel reduction is a major aim these days, and Airbus will have a pretty good advantage with this innovation. New engines (maybe the P&W GTF) could be the answer going forward, but this just makes the competition in the narrowbody market a whole lot more interesting.

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