Air New Zealand Unveils New Shark-Finned Airbus A320 Planes

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | June 18, 2013 3:23 PM EST

Air New Zealand has unveiled during the 50th Le Bourget Paris Air Show its brand new shark-finned Airbus A320 planes.

Air New Zealand's new A320 has a 2.4m curved fuel saving wing tip devices, or sharklets. Compared to the old Boeing 737s, the sharklets will help the aircraft save 18 per cent in fuel per passenger.

Air New Zealand Unveils New Shark-Finned Airbus A320 Planes

Captain David Morgan, chief flight operations and safety officer, said the Boeing 737-300 jets are scheduled to be phased out of Air New Zealand's fleet over the next couple of years, thus making the new A320 the core of the airline's domestic fleet.

"From a CO2 perspective, each Sharklet equipped A320 aircraft will save 250 tonnes of carbon per year compared with an A320 without Sharklets," Mr Morgan said.

"The airline is committed to moving all domestic flying to this aircraft type to reap the efficiency gains it offers."

Air New Zealand has ordered a total of 10 Sharklet equipped A320s.

Sharklets offer the flexibility to A320 Family operators of either adding around 100 nautical miles more range or an increased payload capability of up to 450 kilogrammes.

"The Sharklets deliver a fuel burn reduction of up to four percent and will help Air New Zealand become even more efficient in one of the world's most competitive markets," John Leahy, Customers chief operating officer, said.

Airbus SAS, in 2009, launched the new blended winglet design sharklet to enhance the payload-range performance of the A320 Family. Offered as a retrofit option, sharklets are expected to result in a reduced fuel burn of at least 3.5 per cent over longer sectors, corresponding to an annual CO2 reduction of around 700 tonnes per aircraft.

The A320 was the first model fitted with sharklets.

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