First Chinese Carrier To Acquire And Airplane So Equipped
China Eastern Airlines, has taken delivery of its first A320 aircraft equipped with "Sharklet" fuel saving wing-tip devices, becoming China’s first carrier to do so. The aircraft is also the first "Sharklet" equipped A320 assembled and delivered in Tianjin.
The A320, powered by IAE V2500 engines, features a comfortable two class cabin, seating 158 passengers with eight in business class and 150 in economy, was scheduled to make its first commercial flight from Shanghai to Dalian on May 18. “As the first and biggest Airbus customer in China, China Eastern and Airbus have long-term good cooperation. China Eastern is honored to be the first customer of A320 with "sharklets" in China. In the near future, China Eastern will further expand our "sharklet" equipped A320 family fleet”, said Shu Mingjiang, Vice President Flight Operations, China Eastern.
"Sharklets" are made from light-weight composites and are about 8 feet tall. They are an option on new-build A320 Family aircraft and standard on all members of the new A320neo family. Airbus says they offer operators up to four per cent fuel burn reduction on longer range sectors and provide the flexibility of either adding an additional 100 nautical miles range or increased payload capability.
China Eastern is one of the largest airlines in China and is the first Chinese airline operating Airbus aircraft in 1985. Now it operates an Airbus fleet of over 230 aircraft including A300s, A319s, A320s, A321s, A330s and A340s.
The Airbus Tianjin Delivery Center has delivered 126 aircraft since June 2009 and it plans to deliver 46 aircraft in total in 2013.