Spirit Airlines Flies its First Airbus A320 with Sharklets
Spirit Airlines is celebrating Earth Day today as it begins flying its new Airbus A320 Sharklet-equipped aircraft, further solidifying the carrier as “Earth’s Favorite Way to Fly.”
Sharklets are Airbus’ new wingtip device that improves the aircraft’s aerodynamics which significantly reduces fuel burn by up to four percent and lowers emissions. The technology reduces annual greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 1,000 tons of CO2 per aircraft – that’s equivalent to taking 200 cars off the road! Made from light-weight composites and measuring eight feet in height, Sharklets also offer the flexibility of adding an additional 100 nautical miles range or increased payload capability of up to 450 kilograms. In addition, they reduce engine maintenance costs and increase operational efficiencies, including improved take-off performance, better rate of climb and optimum altitude.
“We are thrilled to be celebrating Earth Day by operating our new Airbus A320 with new Sharklet technology,” said Spirit’s President and CEO Ben Baldanza. “Spirit is proud to be doing our part to make travel not only more affordable for our customers, but at the same time green. From our modern all-Airbus fleet and eco-friendly seating configuration among other innovations, and now Sharklets, Spirit has taken serious measures to reduce our fuel consumption and be more eco-conscious, while at the same time continuing to offer our customers the lowest fares in the industry.”
“With the debut of their new Sharklets, Spirit is showing it cares for the planet and the pocketbook,” said John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer – Customers, Airbus. “By reducing fuel consumption, Sharklets help the environment and the airline’s bottom line – it’s great Spirit is taking advantage of the win-win benefits of Sharklets on the A320 Family.”
As part of its green efforts, several years ago Spirit made the conscious decision to transition to a fleet of new, fuel-efficient Airbus aircraft and enhanced them with an eco-friendly seating configuration. In fact, Spirit burns far less fuel per passenger than its competitors. Its A320 aircraft provide an incredible 89.4 passenger miles per gallon.* Spirit has also signed an agreement with Airbus for an order which includes their latest A320neo (new engine option) aircraft, which will be even more fuel efficient than Spirit’s current A320s. In addition, Spirit’s “Bring Less, Pay Less” baggage program has led to a reduction in bags carried per passenger and resulted in Spirit using the equivalent of nearly six million gallons less fuel in the past year.
Spirit currently operates an all-Airbus fleet of 49 aircraft, including 29 A319s, 18 A320s and two A321s. The company has five more new Airbus A320s scheduled for delivery in 2013, as well as seven A320s scheduled for delivery in 2014 and 10 in 2015. Spirit has 75 new aircraft (30 classic A320s and 45 A320neos) on firm order for delivery between 2016 and 2021. In addition, Spirit has signed a letter of intent with ILFC to lease five A320neo aircraft, subject to final documentation.
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