Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Airline Glossary - Sharklets


What’s a sharklet, we asked you yesterday on our Facebook page. Here’s the answer:

A sharklet is a type of winglet – an extension of an aircraft’s wing that is designed to enhance the airflow around the wingtip area, especially during the cruise phase of flight. Winglets have been around for some time. But the sharklet is a new type of blended winglet that has been developed by Airbus. SWISS took delivery of its first “sharkletted” Airbus – an A321 – in March. The new sharklets are expected to save up to 150 tonnes of fuel per aircraft per year. And all our future Airbus A320-family deliveries will also feature the new sharklet technology.


  1. It was a A320 and not A321.
    I did the incoming check.

  2. Does LX plan on having any of their older Airbus A319/A320/A321 a/c retrofitted with sharklets?

    1. Dear LAX77W, sorry for the late reply and thank you for your interest. We have investigated the current status and please find below the answer from our SWISS engineering team:
      "SWISS Engineering is actually evaluating the sharklet retrofit for some of its older Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft. The Airbus A319 is not being considered for retrofit, as this aircraft subtype may leave the fleet in a foreseeable future and a retrofit solution for the A321 is presently not under consideration by Airbus. Development of the A320 sharklet retrofit solution has just been launched by Airbus and only 7 aircraft of the present SWISS fleet will finally qualify for a retrofit. The economic viability of such a heavy structural aircraft modification needs to be eventually demonstrated, bearing in mind that the sharklets only yield optimal efficiency and fuel savings on flight segments of several hours. SWISS is operating its A320/A321 aircraft exclusively on the European Network with average flight durations a little longer than 1 hour, which tends to reduce the benefits of a sharklet retrofit. Last but not least such a decision will be consolidated with the other A320 operators of the Lufthansa Group."
      Best regards, Janina