AirAsia takes delivery of first sharklet-fitted A320

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Budget carrier AirAsia has taken delivery of the first Airbus A320 fitted with sharklet wing-tips, which replace the wing fences previously installed on the type.

The new wing-tips are optional but will become standard on the future re-engined A320neo family.

Airbus says the modified wing-tips will enable A320 operators to squeeze 100nm (180km) additional range from the aircraft, or provide 450kg of extra payload, by reducing fuel burn.

"These new wing-tip devices will contribute to fulfilling our goal of being the most efficient, innovative low cost airline in the world," says AirAsia group chief Tony Fernandes.

AirAsia ordered another 100 A320s during December 2012, bringing its total orders for the twinjet family to 475. Of these, 264 will be A320neo variants.