Hong Kong low-cost carrier, HK Express, received its first Airbus A320neo aircraft on Monday (December 12), marking the debut of the new aircraft to the North Asia region.

The delivery of the A320neo – the 18th aircraft to join the carrier’s fleet – follows the airline’s receipt of its first A321 in late October, which has been deployed on its Chiang Mai route. (Business Traveller Asia-Pacific recently reviewed HK Express’ A320-200 service on this route)

The two aircraft are part of an order for a further 11 A320neos and ten A321s the carrier currently has placed with Airbus. HK Express expects to receive its second A320neo in the beginning of 2017.

“We’re very pleased that HK Express continues to expand its fleet with our latest A320neo, which offers unmatched passenger comfort, fuel efficiency and economics,” said Airbus China president, Eric Chen. “We are confident that this aircraft will complement HK Express’ existing fleet and further their success in the region.”

The A320neo features a range of eco-friendly features, including low fuel burn (partly due to its aerodynamic 2.4-metre-tall wing tips dubbed “sharklets”), low emissions and quiet engines, and also offers a longer flight range.

The Hong Kong carrier has named its new aircraft “Shark”, highlighting the aircraft’s more eco-friendly features and the airline’s stance against the shark fin trade. In-flight donations to the Hong Kong Shark Foundation will be collected on the A320neo between January 1 and 31, 2017.