11 April 2014
Lhasa based Tibet Airlines from the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China has taken delivery of its first A319 with Sharklets. The aircraft which was handed over at the Airbus Tianjin Delivery Centre (ATDC) joins Tibet Airlines’ existing fleet of eight existing A319s. The aircraft is the 165th assembled at Airbus’Tianjin Final Assembly Line (FALC).
The aircraft is powered by CFM56-5B engines and features a comfortable two class cabin, seating 128 passengers with eight in business class and 120 in economy.
Tibet Airlines’ base is Gongga Airport, Lhasa, is one of the world’s highest airports at an altitude of 12,000 feet. The new A319 is certificated for high altitude airport operation and Required Navigation Performance – Authorisation Required (RNP-AR) and Satcom is installed.
RNP-AR procedures represent today the most modern navigation technique, allowing the aircraft to fly precisely along predefined routes using on-board navigation systems and the GPS-based ‘Global Navigation Satellite System’ (GNSS). The high accuracy provided by RNP-AR is especially important for airlines operating in and out of airports in mountainous regions. Tibet Airlines has selected Airbus ProSky, an Airbus subsidiary, as its strategic partner for its RNP-AR operations.
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.
The FALC in Tianjin is based on the latest state-of-the-art Airbus single aisle final assembly line in Hamburg, Germany. The aircraft delivered in China are assembled to the same standards as those assembled and delivered in Europe. Airbus has delivered 165 Tianjin assembled A320 Family aircraft. The aircraft are in service with 13 Chinese and Asian airlines.
The A320 Family (A318, A319, A320 and A321) 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.