Airbus has launched a new engine for their A320 family with development costs of over one billion euro. The new engine option incorporates fuel-saving wingtip devices called sharklets. Airbus expects to deliver the first example in 2016.
In a media release Airbus said that the airplane”will not only deliver significant fuel savings of up to 15 percent, which represents up to 3 600 tonnes of CO2 savings annually. In addition customers will benefit from a double-digit reduction in NOx emissions, reduced engine noise, lower operating costs and up to 500nm (950 km) more range or two tonnes more payload.”
Tom Enders, Airbus President and CEO said that he is “confident that the A320neo will be a great success across all markets and with all types of operators, offering them maximum benefit with minimum change. We are leveraging a reliable, mature aircraft and are making it even more efficient and environmentally friendly.”
The statement continued to say that over the past months, Airbus has taken the time to carefully assess and weigh up the benefits of the business case with the allocation of the highly skilled engineering resources needed while at the same time securing the engineering skills required on other Airbus aircraft programmes.
“Finding the necessary resources for the A320neo wasn’t exactly a walk in the park,” Enders added. “The enabler was to devise a stringent phasing of critical engineering assets throughout our various development programmes and to optimise the management and organisation of all our programmes and R&T projects. Our international engineering centres, suppliers and partners play a big role in this.”
Speaking to Aviation Technologies International , Airbus chief operating officer for customers John Leahy said there were “no orders in hand right now” but talks are taking place with Lufthansa, AirAsia, Qatar Airways, International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC), GECAS and IndiGo, all of whom are “very interested.”
Airbus reports that the A320 Family has sold over 6 700 aircraft, and more than 4 400 aircraft delivered to some 310 customers and operators worldwide.