10 April 2014
Qingdao Airlines, a Chinese start-up airline, has taken delivery of the company’s first ever aircraft, an Airbus A320 aircraft equipped with Sharklets, on lease from Hong Kong-based China Aircraft Leasing Company (CALC). The airline will become a new operator of the world’s best-selling single-aisle aircraft and make its first commercial flight from its home base of Qingdao in Eastern China to Chengdu, capital city of Sichuan Province in Southwestern China, later in April.
The A320, powered by CFM56 engines, features a comfort two-class cabin with eight business and 144 economy class seats.
“We are very happy to receive our company’s ever first aircraft, an A320 equipped with fuel-saving Sharklets,” said Song Zuowen, Chairman of Qingdao Airlines. “We are looking forward to starting operation with this brand new Airbus A320 to offer our passengers a new option for air travel in the fast growing Chinese market.”
“We congratulate Qingdao Airlines for commencing services using the world’s most popular single aisle aircraft. The A320 with Sharklets offers unbeatable economics and serve Qingdao’s growth plans well’, said John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer Customers. “With the widest cabin, the A320 offers passengers the best comfort in its class.”
Sharklets are made from light-weight composites and are 2.4 meters tall. They are an option on new-build A320 Family aircraft and standard on all members of the new A320neo family. They offer operators up to four per cent fuel burn reduction on longer range sectors and provide the flexibility of either adding an additional 100 nautical miles range or increased payload capability of up to 450 kilograms.
Qingdao Airlines placed an order for 23 A320 Family aircraft in 2013.
The A320 Family is the world’s best-selling and most modern single aisle aircraft Family. To date, over 10,200 aircraft have been ordered and over 6,000 delivered to operators worldwide. With proven reliability and extended servicing periods, the A320 Family has the lowest operating costs of any single-aisle aircraft.