Air New Zealand launch customer for new 'Sharklet' wingtips for Airbus A320 narrowbody aircraft
Computer-rendered illustration of 'Sharklets' on an Air New Zealand A320
Mon 16 Nov 2009 – Airbus has launched a large wingtip device option for new Airbus A320 Family aircraft that is expected to provide savings of around 3.5 percent in fuel burn and carbon emissions over longer sectors. Air New Zealand is to be the launch customer for the device, called the ‘Sharklet’, when it takes delivery of new A320 aircraft around the end of 2012, to be followed by the other A320 Family models from 2013. The efficiency improvement is additional to those achieved by the A320 classic wingtip ‘fence’. Operators should also gain from a reduction in average take-off thrust, with subsequent savings in take-off noise. Other benefits are an enhanced climb performance and higher initial cruise altitude.
Airbus estimates an average annual reduction of around 700 tonnes of CO2 per aircraft flying longer sectors. It says benefits include either a revenue payload increase of around 500kg or an additional 100 nautical miles range at the original payload.
“The new Sharklets will enable our Airbus fleet to benefit from lower fuel burn and carbon emissions, both across Air New Zealand’s domestic network and especially on the longer trans-Tasman sectors,” commented Rob Fyfe, CEO of Air New Zealand, which recently decided to move to an all-A320 fleet for narrowbody operations on domestic and short-haul international routes. The new aircraft will be powered by an advanced version of the IAE V2500 engines currently fitted on the A320, allowing further fuel burn improvement.