Friday, May 17, 2013

China produces first Airbus A320 with sharklets, delivered to China Eastern Airlines

First A320 with sharklets produced in China [Photo: Airbus]
First A320 with sharklets produced in China [Photo: Airbus]
Let’s take a break from the air rage stories I’ve been posting about China and look at some more positive aviation news from the country.

China Eastern Airlines has taken delivery of its first Airbus A320 equipped with sharklets, making it the first Chinese airline to use the fuel saving wing tip devices.

Not only that, but the aircraft is also the first sharklets-equipped A320 to be assembled and delivered in Tianjin. Double milestone!

The A320 (pictures on this page), powered by IAE V2500 engines, features a two class cabin, seating 158 passengers with eight in business class and 150 in economy. Wasting no time at all, its first commercial flight will be operated from Shanghai to Dalian tomorrow. Visit my Facebook page for more aircraft photos.

China Eastern Airlines welcomes new A320 [Photo: Airbus]
China Eastern Airlines welcomes new A320 [Photo: Airbus]
“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,” said Shu Mingjiang, Vice President Flight Operations, China Eastern.

“In the near future, China Eastern will further expand our sharklet equipped A320 family fleet.”

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Sharklets are made from light-weight composites and are 2.4 metres tall. They are an option on new-build A320 Family aircraft and standard on all members of the new A320neo family.

According to Airbus, 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 of up to 450 kilograms.

PHOTO SPECIAL: Airbus completes paintwork on first A350 XWB

Airbus Tianjin Delivery Centre has delivered 126 aircraft since June 2009 and plans to deliver 46 aircraft in total in 2013.


  1. Christiaan van DeurMay 17, 2013 at 10:09 PM

    Do you know if the older A320's can be modified to accept the new wingtips?

    1. Christiaan the sharklet kits will be available for older A320's, for example Jet Blue will be upgrading their fleet shortly.

  2. Yuanqing Orbit CaoMay 18, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    First Sharklet operating in China and first Sharklet A320 assembled in China. Double milestone for sure.

  3. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeh, China nayo? You are on top.

  4. An advantage to Airbus in the competitive market.

  5. Sharklets are very useful for saving the fuel in a world where fuel prices are mounting up. 4% fuel saving is not a small thing, its a lot for airlines. I read here that Sharklets are an optional feature on the new-build A320 airliners, that means its not necessary that all a320's will have sharklets


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