DUBAI: Airbus to base retrofit A320 wing-tip on sharklet

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Airbus expects its wing-tip retrofit plan to centre on the same sharklet design intended for the A320neo.

The airframer had previously given little detail about the retrofit initiative, beyond stating that it planned to offer it.

But speaking during the Dubai air show, Airbus chief operating officer for customers John Leahy said it was likely to feature the A320neo sharklet design.

"It appears that will be the case at this point," he said.

Airbus is aiming to start building sharklet-capable A320s on its current production line from the second half of 2012, an initial evolution of the twinjet before the A320neo.

But the airframer will concentrate initially on new-build jets "and then look at offering" the sharklet retrofit, said Leahy.