JetBlue to order 110 sets of sharklets for A320s

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New York-based JetBlue has signed a letter of intent with Airbus to buy 110 shipsets of retrofit sharklets for its in-service Airbus A320s, with deliveries to begin in 2014.

The low-cost carrier will be the first North American airline to operate commercial service with the fuel-saving wing tips.

"We feel the sharklets are a prudent investment in our fleet, our environment and our people that will maximise performance and efficiency, while minimising our carbon footprint," says JetBlue chief executive Dave Barger.

JetBlue unveiled its first A320, registration N821JB, outfitted with the sharklets on 21 February. That A320 was delivered by Airbus on 17 December, according to Flightglobal's Ascend Online database.

The airline said then it would accept all new A320 family aircraft deliveries with sharklets factory installed and it will retrofit the four A320s delivered before N821JB with winglets, for a total of 12 aircraft equipped with winglets by end-2013.

JetBlue is scheduled to take delivery of three A320s and four A321s this year.

The airline's chief financial officer Mark Powers said in a January earnings call that the carrier expects to complete winglet retrofits on its existing A320 fleet by 2017.