Air NZ unveils new A320 at Paris Airshow

By Ben Chapman-Smith

The new A320s feature 2.4 metre high curved wing tip devices known as sharklets.
The new A320s feature 2.4 metre high curved wing tip devices known as sharklets.

Air New Zealand has rolled out the first of its brand new Airbus A320 aircraft - which feature impressive curved wing tips - at the Paris Air Show overnight.

The national carrier is the launch customer for the A320s and has purchased ten of them to join its fleet between now and 2015.

Designed to increase fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions, the new planes are built with 2.4 metre-high wing tip devices known as 'sharklets'.

David Morgan, chief flight operations and safety officer, said the A320 was at the core of the airline's domestic fleet.

The airline was committed to moving all domestic flying to the aircraft type to take advantage of the fuel efficiency gains on offer, he said.

"In a seat to seat comparison, the sharklet-equipped A320 will burn 18 per cent less fuel per passenger compared with our Boeing 737-300 jets, which are scheduled to be phased out of our fleet over the next couple of years," Morgan said.

Air NZ A320

The sharklet-equipped aircraft would save 250 tonnes of carbon per year compared with the usual A320, Morgan said.

Morgan said Air New Zealand was proud to have its aircraft selected to be part of the Airbus display at the Paris Air Show.

The prestigious event, now in its 50th year, brings together industry players from across the globe to showcase the latest technological developments in the field.

To see a video of the sharklet A320's maiden flight in November 2011, go here.

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