Sichuan Airlines (Chengdu), the largest all Airbus fleet operator in China, has taken delivery of its first A320 aircraft equipped with Sharklets.
The A320, powered by IAE V2500 engines, features a comfortable two class cabin, seating 164 passengers with eight in business class and 156 in economy.
Sichuan Airlines was also the first Chinese airline to operate the A320, the first to take delivery of an A320 assembled at Airbus’ Tianjin Final Assembly Line, and now one of the first with Sharklets in China.
Sichuan Airlines is China’s largest all Airbus fleet operator. It introduced an A320 in 1995 to become the first Chinese airline to operate an Airbus fly-by-wire aircraft. In 2009, the airline received the first A320 assembled at the Airbus Final Assembly Line China (FALC) in Tianjin. Now it operates a fleet of five A330s and 70 A320 Family aircraft.
Copyright Photo: Airbus. The pictured Airbus A320-232 F-WWIM became B-9935 (msn 5646) when it was handed over on June 26, 2013.
Air Arabia (airarabia.com) (Sharjah, UAE) on January 24 took delivery of its first Airbus A320 with the new Sharklets wing tip device. Airbus delivered the first Sharklet equipped A320 in the Middle East to Air Arabia, which becomes the first operator in the region of the new fuel-saving large wing tip devices.
The company issued this statement:
Air Arabia, the first and largest low cost carrier in the Middle East and North Africa, announced that it has taken delivery of its first Sharklet equipped Airbus A320 aircraft. Air Arabia becomes the first airline in the Middle East to take delivery of Sharklet equipped Airbus A320, further enabling the airline to achieve increased operational efficiency.
Sharklets are an option on new-build Airbus A320 Family aircraft, which are equipped with fuel-saving large wing tip devices. Sharklets are made from light-weight composites, and the newly designed wing-tip devices reduce fuel burn and emissions by improving the aerodynamics of the aircraft significantly.
The delivery of the new aircraft marks yet another step in Air Arabia’s fleet expansion strategy, while creating the industry’s most modern fleet. The new aircraft has gone straight into service across Air Arabia’s network of 82 destinations.
“We are extremely proud to become the first airline in the Middle East region to take delivery of an A320 fitted with Airbus’ new, fuel saving Sharklets,” said Adel Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer, Air Arabia. “Air Arabia has a long-standing commitment to operational efficiency and fuel saving. These new wing tip devices will contribute to fulfilling our goal of becoming one of the world’s most efficient and innovative low cost airlines.”
“As a strong advocate for the A320 family, it is fitting that Air Arabia has become the first carrier in the region to benefit from the four per cent fuel saving our new Sharklets deliver,” said John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer, Customers, Airbus. “Air Arabia, with their Sharklet-equipped A320s, can now assure their passengers that they are also travelling on board the world’s most environmentally friendly single-aisle aircraft.”
Air Arabia has now received 15 of the 44 A320 aircraft it has ordered from Airbus in 2007. The delivery of the 44 new aircraft will be completed by 2016, and will more than double the size of Air Arabia’s fleet. It expects to take delivery of seven new A320 aircraft in 2013.
The A320 Family is the world’s best-selling and most modern single aisle aircraft Family. All Air Arabia aircraft cabin interiors are fitted with a world-class comfort seats offering highest seat pitch of any economy cabin across the globe and therefore, offering passengers extra leg room to sit back and relax during their flight.
Copyright Photo: Airbus. Airbus A320-214 F-WWIM became A6-ANO on its delivery.
Volaris (volaris.com.mx) (Toluca) will add Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood in June. The low-cost carrier has also applied to serve Los Angeles and Oakland. Volaris will work closely with Southwest Airlines (both carriers announced a new code share agreement last year).