IndiGo, India’s leading low-cost carrier, has taken delivery of its first Airbus A320 aircraft, equipped with fuel-saving sharklet wing tip devices.

Sharklets are newly designed wing-tip devices that Airbus says improve the aircraft’s aerodynamics and significantly cut the airline’s fuel burn and emissions by 4% on longer sectors.

President Aditya Ghosh says IndiGo is the first Indian carrier to have an aircraft equipped with sharklets. All future A320 aircraft to be delivered to IndiGo will be fitted with the devices, he adds.

“In little over six years since we began operating, our low fares and high service ethos at IndiGo have enabled us to grow to become India’s largest domestic carrier. We already operate one of the world’s youngest most fuel-efficient fleets, and our investment in sharklets will help reduce our fuel consumption even further,” Ghosh says.

IndiGo placed an order for 100 A320 aircraft in 2005. In addition, it was the first Indian airline to order the A320NEO with a contract for 180 such aircraft placed in 2011.

“With high fuel prices and with a 4% fuel burn reduction, IndiGo’s investment in the sharklet will pay handsome dividends,” says John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer–customers. “We are delighted with IndiGo’s choice to grow their airline with Airbus.”

Sharklets are an option on new-build A320 aircraft and standard on all models of the A320NEO. They offer the flexibility to A320 family operators of either adding about 100 nautical miles of range or increasing the payload by up to 450 kilograms, the Airbus official adds.

IndiGo’s fleet comprises only Airbus aircraft. The airline, which began operations in 2006, currently has a fleet of 62 A320s. “So far, IndiGo’s cumulative order for Airbus aircraft is for 280 A320 aircraft, including 180 A320NEOs,” an IndiGo official says.

A320 photo: Airbus