Airbus says wingtip change to save fuel

An Airbus A320 passenger plane run by Spanish tour group Iberworld is parked on the tarmac of Gando airport at the Spanish Canary Islands of Gran Canaria after it was forced to make an emergency landing June 10, 2009. REUTERS/Borja Suarez

DUBAI (Reuters) - European planemaker Airbus said Sunday its planned large wingtip devices on the A320 aircraft will reduce fuel burn by 3.5 percent and save about $220,000 a year per plane.

Airbus said the improvements to its A320 family would also cut back on carbon emissions.

John Leahy, Airbus’ chief operating officer said the manufacturer would incorporate changes into the A320 fleet which should be delivered by the end of 2012.

The new sharklet large wingtip would reduce fuel burn by 3.5 percent over longer sectors and reduce carbon emissions by 700 tonnes.

The modifications would save airbus $220,000 per year per plane, Leahy said at the Dubai airshow.

Air New Zealand is the launch customer of the A320.

Reporting by John Irish; Editing by Hans Peters