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A320_Sharklet2Almost a year after the first Airbus A320 equipped with a sharklet was delivered, Airbus announced the launch of the sharklet retrofit program for in-service A320 aircraft, and will be available in 2015.

This retrofit includes reinforcing the wing structure and adding the Sharklet wingtip device. As part of the upgrade, the retrofit will lengthen the aircraft’s service life and thus maximise the operators’ return on investment for the Sharklet retrofit.

The extent of reinforcement and more details on the sharklets may be viewed here, in this comprehensive article on Winglets and Sharklets.

Airbus will offer the retrofit initially for A320 and A319 models and will evaluate a retrofit for the A321 at a later stage.

The Sharklets’ benefits include a fuel consumption reduction by up to 4 per cent (Only on long sectors), and an extension of mission range by 100 nautical miles or payload capability increase by up to 450 kilogrammes.

Sharklets equipped on new-build A320 Family aircraft have been delivered by Airbus since December 2012, with more than 184 received by customers and operators to date. MSN 5428 is the first sharklet equipped Airbus A320. In India, only two operators of the Airbus A320 feature sharklet equipped A320s in their fleet: IndiGo and GoAir.

In Indigo, VT-IFH onwards, up to the latest, VT-IFV feature sharklets. Out of 71 Airbus A320 in the airline’s fleet, 15 are equipped with sharklets.

In Go Air, VT-GOL onwards, up to the latest, VT-GOP feature sharklets. Out of 18 Airbus A320 in the airline’s fleet, 5 are equipped with sharklets.

There are 112 Airbus A320 in India (excluding A321 and A319), 17.8% of which are equipped with fuel-saving sharklets.