Airberlin Group (Berlin) on March 26 took delivery of its first Airbus A320 with the new Sharklets wing tip device. The pictured A320-214 OE-LER (msn 5522) will be operated by Niki (Vienna).
The group issued this statement:
OE-LER, welcome to our fleet! The Airberlin Group became one of the first airlines in the world to receive its very first Airbus A320 equipped with fuel-saving Sharklets at the Airbus factory in Hamburg on March 26, 2013. The development sees the company further strengthen its position as Europe’s most eco-efficient network carrier.
The aircraft with the Airbus manufacturer’s serial number msn 5522 will fly under the registration OE-LER for the airline Niki, which belongs to the Airberlin Group. Following test flights and extensive technical checks, the transfer of title of the aircraft to the Airberlin Group took place on March 25 before the March 26 ferry flight from Hamburg to Vienna, the home of Niki.
Commenting on the delivery, Ulf Hüttmeyer, Chief Financial Officer airberlin, said: “The new Airbus is the first of a total of 14 Airbus A320/A321 aircraft with the fuel-saving wingtips to be delivered to the Airberlin Group. The Sharklets represent an important aspect of our ‘Eco-Efficient Flying’ program and will contribute towards making the Airberlin and Niki fleet even more efficient and environmentally compatible in future. The delivery of the first Airbus with Sharklets to Niki is part of a sales and lease back transaction between our company and the Chinese leasing company ICBC Financial Leasing with which we have already been working together successfully and reliably for several years in the area of aircraft financing.”
As part of the sales and lease back cooperation arrangement with ICBC Financial Leasing, the Airberlin Group is to add another Airbus A320 with Sharklets to its fleet in June of this year.
The two-and-a-half meter large upward wingtip extensions reduce air vortices at the wings and hence the lift-induced drag. The eye-catching Sharklets developed by Airbus thereby significantly improve the wing aerodynamics and are capable of saving around 1,200 tonnes of CO2 emissions with fuel savings of up to 3.5% per aircraft each year. This represents 55 flights from Berlin to Palma de Mallorca per aircraft every year. Sharklets work according to a functional principle by which the improved lift effect also enables the Airbus equipped with Sharklets to ascend more quickly. This in turn reduces noise on the ground.
Copyright Photo: Airberlin.