Private budget carrier VietJetAir on Monday signed a contract to lease three Airbus aircraft equipped with the latest fuel-saving winglets.
The contract, signed with world's leading commercial jet aircraft leasing company Ansett Worldwide Aviation Services, makes VietJetAir the first airline in Vietnam to operate a wing tip device on an aircraft that Airbus calls "sharklet."
Sharklets, made from light-weight composites, were introduced in 2009 as a new blended winglet to enhance the payload-range performance by either adding a range of 100 nautical miles or an increased payload capability of up to 450 kilograms. They are expected to reduce fuel burn by at least 3.5 percent, or an annual CO2 reduction of around 700 tons per aircraft.
VietJetAir is leasing three A320, which was the first Airbus model fitted with sharklets, delivered in 2012.
The airline said it expects the new Sharklet-equipped A320 aircraft to help with plans to expand in the region with destinations like Kuala Lumpur, Busan, Seoul, Singapore and Taipei.
VietJetAir entered the local aviation market in December 2011 and is flying to and from nine local destinations including Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Da Lat, Da Nang, Phu Quoc, Hue, Nha Trang, Vinh and Hai Phong, while a new service between Ho Chi Minh City and the Central Highlands' coffee town of Buon Ma Thuot will be launched May 20.
It launched its first international route between Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok on February 10 and has announced it will be giving away free tickets for the Hanoi-Bangkok route expected to open this June.
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