Sichuan Airlines has selected Honeywell's (NYSE: HON) 131-9A auxiliary power units (APUs) for its A320 fleet of aircraft. As part of a five-year agreement, Honeywell will provide the 131-9A APU for Sichuan Airline's 93 new A320 aircraft that will enter service by 2025. The airline will also replace the APUs on its 141 existing A320 aircraft with the same Honeywell APU. This is the largest APU retrofit deal in Honeywell's history. The 131-9A APU will help Sichuan Airlines reduce flight delays and cancellations, creating a more pleasant flying experience for passengers.
"We are pleased to collaborate with Honeywell. We hope that the outstanding performance of its legendary APUs will help us improve operational efficiency," said Li Yue, executive vice president of Sichuan Airlines. "With the aviation industry being significantly impacted by COVID-19, reliable and innovative products and solutions are highly demanded for airlines' recovery and future development. We look forward to working with our partners for the bright future of the industry."
An APU is a critical piece of aircraft equipment that provides electrical power and air conditioning while the plane is on the ground. It helps ensure passenger comfort and supplies the air source before a pilot is ready to start the main engines. The 131-9A is known for its reliability and lower maintenance costs over the course of its entire life cycle, resulting in significant fuel savings each year.
"It is a great pleasure to collaborate with Sichuan Airlines, which sets a significant milestone in enhancing our partnership with airline customers in China," said Steven Lien, Honeywell Aerospace Asia Pacific President. "We see a strong recovery and large potential for China's aviation industry, as well as local airlines' growing competitiveness worldwide. Honeywell is committed to supporting this market, providing customers with exceptional solutions and equipping local support teams to help them create value and improve efficiency."
Honeywell's first APU took to the skies in 1950, and the company has built more than 100,000 since then. More than 36,000 APUs are in service today across more than 150 regional, executive and commercial applications, including both fixed wing and rotary wing.
In 2009, the Honeywell 131-9A APU on an Airbus A320 played a critical role in the emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549 in New York's Hudson River, in which all 155 passengers and crew survived. Honeywell has shipped more than 15,000 131-9A APUs since introducing this model in 1995.