AirAsia X is juggling its order book with Airbus, and has cut its order of planned order Airbus A330neo aircraft down, in favour of the Airbus A321XLR
The finalised order with Airbus calls for an additional 12 A330-900neo aircraft, and 30 A321XLR aircraft to join the AirAsia X long haul fleet.
In formation – AirAsiaX Airbus A330-900neo and A321XLR. Image, Airbus.
The order was signed off by in a ceremony in Kuala Lumpur.
This order brings up Air Asia X’s orders up to 78 Airbus A330neo aircraft, and the 30 A321XLR’s increase the AirAsia order count to 622 A320 family aircraft.
AirAsia X also operate 36 Airbus A330-300s in its fleet, along with an A330-900neo delivered to Thai AirAsia X
Sri Tony Fernandes, Chief Executive Officer, AirAsia Group, said
This order reaffirms our selection of the A330neo as the most efficient choice for our future widebody fleet. In addition, the A321XLR offers the longest flying range of any single aisle aircraft and will enable us to introduce services to new destinations. Together, these aircraft are perfect partners for long haul low cost operations and will allow us to build further on our market leading position in this fast-growing sector.”
Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, Chairman of AirAsia X Berhad, said:
“Today’s announcement is testament to our confidence and commitment to longer haul air travel. This is the future of our long-haul operations. The A330neo’s revolutionary new features and modifications will move our long-haul service sectors up to a higher level and allow AirAsia X to look at expanding beyond the eight-hour flight radius, such as to Europe, for example.
Guillaume Faury, Chief Executive Officer, Airbus commented:
“AirAsia X has been the pioneer of the long haul low cost model in the Asia-Pacific region. This new order for the A330neo and A321XLR is a true endorsement of the Airbus solution to meet mid-market demand with a combination of single aisle and widebody products. This powerful solution will provide AirAsia X with the lowest possible operating costs to expand its network and enable even more people to fly further than ever before.”
Not the order that was sought – but a welcome addition
Reading the Reuters report, it appears that this isn’t the order Airbus were fighting for – with up to 34 A330neo frames originally up for contention.
With a big quarterly loss, and a shuffle at the top, it seems that negotiations were tough to say the least.
However, the order here is a lot more balanced now – and offers more options for routes that won’t have the flow to fill an A330neo (such as secondary routes to cities that wouldn’t fill such an aircraft)… even if the A321XLR will somehow fit 240 passengers aboard when full loaded.
In addition, the order confirms AirAsia X as the largest operator of the A330neo.
There is a little stinger in all the releases – no dates have been confirmed for any of the new orders.
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