SEATTLE, WA – MetroAir has revealed the first of their 55 Airbus aircraft scheduled to be retrofitted with Sharklet winglet devices. N319MT was pulled out of Delta’s MRO (Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul) hangar at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Thursday morning, sporting a pair of Sharklets painted to match the Prime livery on the fuselage. MetroAir gave details on the retrofit schedule: Three airframes will be sent to MRO facilities at Seattle-Tacoma Int’l Airport and LaGuardia Airport each week. MetroAir officials said the current retrofit schedule should take around three months. Ten A319, 25 A320, and 20 A321 air frames are scheduled to be retrofitted in total. After the 55 retrofits are completed, MetroAir executive will decide whether or not to act on their remaining 40 options.
“We’re very excited for the Sharklet retrofits,” spoke COO William Hogarth with a chuckle, “Not only do they save us up to three percent of fuel costs, they also give the A32x series a sleeker look.”
The first A319 to be retrofitted was pulled from scheduled service in Seattle, keeping the Sharklet release date under wraps. The first Sharklet equipped aircraft then performed a test flight over the Washington coast and landed in Portland on Sunday evening. Flights to ferry aircraft to Seattle and LaGuardia will be available for pilots to bid on. Flights should be flown to the MRO stations with regular wingtip fences and returned with the Sharklet model.
MetroAir plans to release the A319, A320, and A321 Sharklet packages over the September 20th weekend.