Qingdao Airlines, a Chinese start-up airline, has celebrated the delivery of the company’s first ever aircraft. A leased Airbus A320 equipped with fuel-saving Sharklets was delivered earlier today by Hong Kong-based China Aircraft Leasing Company (CALC).
The China airline intends to use the single-aisle aircraft to make its first commercial flight from its home base in Qingdao to Chengdu, capital of the Sichuan Province, later in April.
Qingdao Airlines A320 with Sharklets
Qingdao Airlines has configured the A320 with a two-class configuration, with eight seats in business and 144 in economy.
In addition, the aircraft is equipped with Sharklets – made from light-weight composites which stand 2.4m tall. These new attachments are available on new-build A320 family aircraft and are standard on all members of the new A320neo family.
In terms of operational benefits, Sharklets offer carriers up to four per cent fuel burn reduction, as well as increasing the range of the aircraft by an additional 100 nautical miles. Alternatively, they can be used to increase payload capability by up to an additional 450kg.
Along with the lease aircraft from CALC, Qingdao Airlines also has an order with Airbus for 23 of its A320 family aircraft, including five A320ceo and 18 A320neo. The first delivery is expected to begin in 2016.
For an in-depth look of the growing Chinese aviation industry, please see the April 2014 issue of Business Traveller Asia-Pacific for our “Chinese aviation takes off” story (see here).
For more information, visit www.airbus.com