Saudi Arabian private jet operator and management company Alpha Star Aviation Services has become the first Airbus ACJ320 customer for an in-service retrofit of Sharklets.
The Sharklets are upswept fins attached to the wingtips that save about 4% in fuel consumption while also enhancing performance and appearance.
The Sharklets will be fitted to the ACJ320 – which is already in service with the Riyadh-based operator – in 2016. The retrofit has local structural reinforcement of the outer wing, a software upgrade to several flight-control computers, and replacement of the existing winglets.
“We pride ourselves on having a modern and efficient fleet, and adding Sharklets to our Airbus ACJ320 and also adopting FlySmart [Airbus’ performance calculation software for iPad] will help us to keep it that way, as well as improving our day to day operations,” says Alpha Star chief executive Salem Abaid Al Muzaini.
“Adding Sharklets also helps us to preserve the value of our investment in the longer term, and they pay for themselves relatively quickly through the savings they deliver,” Al Muzaini said. Airbus says FlySmart will also give savings to the Saudi operator. “It can improve payload by a tonne on challenging missions, via more precise take-off performance calculation, and delivers more consistent results in degraded conditions, such as when landing on contaminated runways.”