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AirAsia X orders 42 new long-haul Airbus jets

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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PHOTO: AirAsia’s new generation A330neo will be based at Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport – Bernama

AirAsia X, the long-haul part of the AirAsia Group, has now finalised a major order with Airbus for 12 more A330-900 and 30 A321XLR aircraft.

The contract was signed today by Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, chairman of AirAsia X, along with Guillaume Faury, CEO of Airbus, in KL, in the presence of Mahathir Mohamad, the Malaysian PM.

Tony Fernandes, the CEO of the AirAsia Group, says the two aircraft are the perfect equipment for long-haul, low-cost operations.

“This order reaffirms our selection of the A330neo as the most efficient choice for our future wide-body 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.”

Aziz says the order showed the airlines’ commitment to longer haul air travel.

“This 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.”

The new contract increases the number of A330neo (new engine option) aircraft ordered by AirAsia X to 78, reaffirming the carrier’s status as the largest airline customer for the type. Meanwhile, the A321XLR (long range) order sees the wider AirAsia Group strengthen its position as the world’s largest airline customer for the A320 “family”, having now ordered a total of 622 aircraft.

AirAsia X currently operates a fleet of 36 A330-300s on services to points within the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East. In addition, in August the first A330neo joined the fleet of AirAsia’s Bangkok-based long haul affiliate, AirAsia X Thailand. The aircraft is the first of two leased A330neos joining the airline’s Thai affiliate by the end of the year.

 

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