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26 March 2013

An airberlin group first: First Airbus A320 with Sharklets delivered to NIKI

OE-LER, welcome to our fleet! The airberlin group became one of the first airlines in the world to receive its very first Airbus A320 equipped with fuel-saving Sharklets at the Airbus factory in Hamburg on 26th March 2013. The development sees the company further strengthen its position as Europe's most eco-efficient network carrier.

The aircraft with the Airbus manufacturer's serial number MSN 5522 will fly under the registration OE-LER for the airline NIKI, which belongs to the airberlin group. Following test flights and extensive technical checks, the transfer of title of the aircraft to the airberlin group took place on 25th March before today's ferry flight from Hamburg to Vienna, the home of NIKI.

Commenting on the delivery, Ulf Hüttmeyer, Chief Financial Officer airberlin, said: "The new Airbus is the first of a total of 14 Airbus A320/A321 aircraft with the fuel-saving wingtips to be delivered to the airberlin group. The Sharklets represent an important aspect of our ‘Eco-Efficient Flying’ programme and will contribute towards making the airberlin and NIKI fleet even more efficient and environmentally compatible in future. The delivery of the first Airbus with Sharklets to NIKI is part of a sales and lease back transaction between our company and the Chinese leasing company ICBC Financial Leasing with which we have already been working together successfully and reliably for several years in the area of aircraft financing."

Mr. Cong Lin, Chief Executive Officer of ICBC Financial Leasing, said: “Since the inception of ICBC Financial Leasing, we have always been keen to promote green flying in the aviation industry. ICBC Financial Leasing always provides and encourages its clients to purchase and run ‘green’ aircraft and to reduce fuel consumption and carbon footprint in order to protect the environment. In the future, ICBC Financial Leasing will move forward and lease more environmentally friendly aircraft to airlines, to fulfil our social responsibility. We will also do our utmost to equip and support airberlin in their attempts to become even more environmentally friendly.”

As part of the sales and lease back cooperation arrangement with ICBC Financial Leasing, the airberlin group is to add another Airbus A320 with Sharklets to its fleet in June of this year.

The two-and-a-half metre large upward wingtip extensions reduce air vortices at the wings and hence the lift-induced drag. The eye-catching Sharklets developed by Airbus thereby significantly improve the wing aerodynamics and are capable of saving around 1,200 tonnes of CO2 emissions with fuel savings of up to 3.5% per aircraft each year. This represents 55 flights from Berlin to Palma de Mallorca per aircraft every year. Sharklets work according to a functional principle by which the improved lift effect also enables the Airbus equipped with Sharklets to ascend more quickly. This in turn reduces noise on the ground.

airberlin group consistently pursues its “Eco-Efficient Flying” strategy

The airberlin group is working continuously to reduce its fuel consumption for the sake of the environment. In 2012, Germany’s second largest airline set a new record with its average fuel consumption of 3.4 litres per 100 passenger kilometres flown (PKM). By means of a comprehensive fuel efficiency programme put together by airberlin’s team of experts, the airline is continually improving all the processes associated with operating flights and developing new ways of reducing the level of consumption. The Sharklets represent yet another important step in the “Eco-Efficient Flying” programme.

Meanwhile, airberlin’s team of experts have come up with 55 measures which offer opportunities for conserving fuel where flights are concerned. These address areas such as flight planning, weight reduction, modernisation of the aircraft and flight operation. However, these efforts are certainly not about filling the tank with less fuel but are instead aimed at using less of the fuel available in the tank. Through all the measures last year airberlin reduced its CO2 emissions by a total of more than 100,000 tonnes. The airberlin group has already won a number of awards for its commitment in the field of eco-efficiency. By 2015, the airberlin group aims to reduce its fuel consumption to 3 litres per 100 PKM.

For further information on the subject of “Eco-Efficient Flying” please click here.

Press contact

Alexandra Bakir

Phone: +49 (0)30 3434 1500