Spring Airlines, a privately owned low-cost carrier based in Shanghai, has taken delivery of its first A320 equipped with Sharklet wing tips.
The new A320 is a single-aisled aircraft that seats 180 passengers in a single economy class cabin. Powered by CFM56 engines, it will make its first commercial flight from Shanghai to domestic destinations on September 27. Airbus Sharklets are made from light-weight composite and are 2.4 metres tall. They are available as an option on newly built A320 family aircraft, and are standard on all members of the A320 neo family.
Sharklets offer operators up to 4 per cent fuel burn reduction on longer range sectors, and provide an additional 100 nautical miles range or an increased payload capability of up to 450 kg.
Spring Airlines currently operates 37 A320 jetliners but its new aircraft will be the first with the new wing-tip devices. The low-cost carrier currently operates more than 50 domestic routes within China, along with several regional and international routes.
Airbus has also announced that several Chinese carriers will be expanding their fleet with the popular A320 aircraft. Newly established Qingdao Airlines, based in the Eastern Chinese coastal city of Qingdao, Shandong province, has signed a purchase agreement with the aircraft manufacturer for 23 A320s. Meanwhile, Zhejiang Loong Airlines, based in Hangzhou, has signed on for 20 A320 aircraft as well.
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