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Friday, February 22, 2013

JetBlue Unveils First Sharklet-Equipped A320

JetBlue took delivery of its first A320 aircraft equipped with sharklets—fuel-saving wing tip devices from Airbus—during a crewmember event at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City Friday.

This is the first A320 to be delivered to a North American airline. JetBlue plans on retrofitting its entire A320 fleet with sharklets by 2017, which will reportedly result in an annual savings on fuel costs of $45 million, according to JetBlue. The sharklets improve the aerodynamics of the plane with a fuel burn reduction of up to four percent, allowing increased range and payload capability for operators. 

“The addition of sharklets to our A320 fleet creates more fuel efficiency and allows us to be a greener airline,” said Rob Maruster, JetBlue’s Chief Operations Officer.

Maruster said JetBlue is the world’s first airline to perform a production retrofit to install the sharklets on an A320 aircraft.

JetBlue and other U.S. carriers will continue to seek methods of reducing fuel burn in 2013 and going forward; according to a report by industry trade group Airlines for America (A4A), in 2012 the top commercial airlines in the U.S. spent $50 billion or approximately 36 percent of total operating expenses, an all-time annual high. More

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