Airbus is close to launching a Sharklet retrofit program for most A320s now in service, Airbus senior v-p for leasing markets Andy Shankland told a packed audience today at the ISTAT Americas conference in Scottsdale, Ariz. The results of the study, involving the use of the new winglets under development for the A320neo, “look quite positive,” said Shankland, who noted that design work has progressed and continues, and that the market should expect some news on the offering “just a little bit later this year.”
The retrofit would apply to the majority of A320s now in service, noted Shankland, specifically starting at MSN 1200 of the 5,000 airplanes now in service. Airbus expects certification of the option some time in 2014, he added.
Separately, Airbus has increased the list price premium of the A320neo over what it now calls the A320ceo (current engine option) from last year’s $6.2 million to $8.2 million this year, Shankland also noted. The change took effect in January, and resulted from both the robust demand for the product, said Shankland, and extent of the benefits the Neo will offer over the standard A320 due to the increase in fuel costs.