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Published on : Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Airbus has launched the Sharklet retrofit programme for in-service A320 Family aircraft. This option will be available in 2015. Operators of older in-service A320 Family aircraft will thus be able to benefit from the significant cost savings and performance improvements which the Sharklets are already delivering on new-build aircraft.
This retrofit includes reinforcing the wing structure and adding the Sharklet wingtip device. As part of the upgrade, the retrofit will lengthen the aircraft’s service life and thus maximise the operators’ return on investment for the Sharklet retrofit.
Didier Lux, Airbus Executive Vice President, Customer Services said: “Customers of new A320 Family aircraft are unanimously enthusiastic about the benefits which Sharklets already bring to their operations. Now we can also offer this value-adding technology for upgrading their in-service aircraft, to increase range, reduce fuel-burn, while saving over 900 tonnes of CO2 per year, per aircraft.”
Operators of Sharklet retrofitted aircraft will benefit from a reduction in fuel costs by up to four per cent and increased mission range by up to 100 nautical miles. Over 4,000 A320 Family in-service aircraft are eligible to be retrofitted with Sharklets and Airbus has already secured commitments from airlines for around 200 shipsets. Airbus will offer the retrofit initially for A320 and A319 models and will evaluate a retrofit for the A321 at a later stage.
Airbus has been delivering Sharklets as an option on new-build A320 Family aircraft since December 2012. In addition, the Sharklet retrofit option is being sold for newer aircraft delivered with the wings structurally reinforced in production. All members of the A320neo Family will be fitted with Sharklets as standard. The A320neo will enter into service in October 2015.
The A320 Family is the world’s best-selling and most modern single aisle aircraft Family. To date, over 9,900 A320 Family aircraft have been ordered and over 5,700 delivered to more than 388 customers and operators worldwide. With proven reliability and extended servicing periods, the A320 Family has the lowest operating costs of any single-aisle aircraft.