AWAS to offer backlogged A320s with sharklets

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Irish lessor AWAS is to offer Airbus A320s with the new sharklet wing-tip modification to customers from next year, under a new agreement with the airframer.

AWAS placed an order for 75 A320s in 2008 and Airbus's latest backlog figures indicate that the lessor has 77 A320s and two A321s yet to be delivered.

The lessor says every aircraft in its pipeline of new orders will, from mid-2013, be offered with the sharklets.

While sharklets will be standard on the new A320neo, due to enter service in 2015, Airbus is making the modified wing-tips available as an initial improvement to its baseline A320.

AWAS says it will become "one of the first lessors" to give customers the opportunity to take the sharklets, which are designed to reduce drag and fuel burn.

Airbus describes the lessor's decision as a "great endorsement" of the modified aircraft.