Airbus test-flies first A319 with sharklet wing-tips

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Airbus has flown the first A319 to be fitted with the sharklet wing-tip modifications which will be standard on the re-engined A319neo.

The twinjet, MSN5327, took off on a Hamburg-Toulouse test flight on 23 November.

Airbus is intending to put the sharklet-equipped A319 into service in the second quarter of 2013.

It says that results from the flight-test campaign show the fuel-burn saving is "better than the original target", with up to a 4% reduction on long sectors.

Airbus will deliver the first sharklet A320 to AirAsia following certification in December 2012. The airframer has also recently started testing the A321 with the modification.