Airbus A320 with ‘Sharklets’by sagarmedia on December 23, 2012
TOULOUSE, 21 DEC 2012 – It is another world’s first for Asia’s most profitable low-cost carrier AirAsia, as it takes delivery of the very first Airbus A320 aircraft installed with the sharklet wing tips and becomes the first operator of the new fuel-saving large wing tip devices. The delivery took place at the Airbus Delivery Centre in Toulouse, France today.
The sharklet wing tips will be fitted on previously ordered, newly-built Airbus A320’s for AirAsia. These newly designed wing-tip devices reduce fuel burn and emissions by improving the aerodynamics of the aircraft significantly. Cutting fuel bills by around four percent, Sharklets will offer the flexibility of either adding around 100 nautical miles more range or allowing increased payload capability of up to 450 kilogrammes.
This brand new Airbus A320 is AirAsia Group’s 115th aircraft and will be used to serve the routes plied by Malaysia AirAsia.
“AirAsia’s success is due to our disciplined cost structure and our continuous cost initiatives. Being the first airline in the world to operate the Airbus A320 with sharklet wing tips will help AirAsia further in driving our costs further down and enabling us to optimize revenues and maintain our low cost leadership. Cost is always a key focus for AirASia Group which has seen other key initiatives throughout the year such our recent relocation of operations in Thailand to a dedicated low cost terminal” said Aireen Omar, Chief Executive Officer, AirAsia Berhad after the aircraft delivery ceremony.
The AirAsia Group across Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and Japan utilises a 100 percent Airbus A320 fleet and there are 33 more aircraft in total which are expected to be delivered to the various countries of the AirAsia Group next year.
“As our biggest A320 Family airline customer, it’s very fitting that AirAsia is the first carrier to benefit from the four percent fuel saving our new Sharklets deliver,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers. “AirAsia’s vision is to make is possible for everyone to fly and now with their Sharklet-equipped A320s they can assure their passengers that they are also travelling on board the world’s most environmentally friendly single-aisle aircraft.”
AirAsia has also recently announced a firm order of an additional 100 Airbus A320 aircraft including 36 A320ceo aircraft with Sharklets. Altogether, AirAsia has ordered 475 single aisle aircraft from Airbus, comprising 264 A320neo and 211 A320ceo. Additional delivery slots for these aircraft are scheduled up to 2021.
The airline also became the world’s first operator outside of China of a fully-assembled Airbus A320 aircraft from Tianjin, leased from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC). The aircraft was received on 8th December and will be utilised by Indonesia AirAsia.