Airbus will introduce larger winglets for the A350 as part of several aerodynamic improvements that will become available for the twinjet later this year.
A350 marketing director Francois Obe said during a briefing at the Singapore air show that the manufacturer had planned to introduce a package of “incremental developments” in 2020.
He adds, however: “With the aircraft being better than we have expected in service… we will be able to deliver some of them in 2018.”
The new winglets will expand the aircraft’s effective wingspan without increasing its geometric wingspan of just under 65m (212ft).
Obe says the winglets have been flight-tested and are expected to deliver “huge benefits”.
“We needed to be sure the aircraft structure was good enough to sustain the additional weight, and it is the case,” he adds.