Airbus Says Large Wingtip Devices Enhance Airplane Performance
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has signed a contract with Airbus to equip 17 of its future A320s on order with wingtip devices it calls "Sharklets." The new wingtip devices measure about 10 feet tall and replace the aircraft’s current wingtip fence. Airbus says they will reduce fuel burn particularly over longer sectors.
Deliveries of the Sharklet-equipped A320s to Etihad Airways will begin in the third quarter of 2013. The Abu Dhabi based carrier started taking delivery of its 20 A320s on order in the last quarter of 2011. Once in service, the A320s equipped with Sharklets will make Etihad Airways’single-aisle fleet one of the most modern and fuel efficient in the Middle East.
Etihad Airways President and Chief Executive Officer, James Hogan, said: “In today’s climate, our airline is fully focused on maximizing the environmental efficiency of the entire fleet. “By growing our fleet with the modern, fuel efficient Sharklet-equipped A320, we’ll be able to reduce fuel burn which is central to our goal of growing profitability in the years ahead.”
Etihad Airways’ fleet of Airbus aircraft comprises 50 Airbus passenger aircraft (17 A320 Family, 33 A330/A340 Family) and two A330-200 Freighter aircraft. The additional 43 aircraft to be delivered from existing orders, including 10 A380s, will grow Etihad Airways’ total Airbus fleet to 95 aircraft. “We are very happy to see Etihad join the increasing number of carriers selecting our new fuel-saving Sharklets”, said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers. “The A320 already has the best economics and highest reliability of any single-aisle aircraft today. To further boost the aircraft’s productivity by adding the Sharklet, makes good business sense.”