In their own words: Airbus customers enthusiastically endorse the A330neo

As the first customers announce their commitments for Airbus’ A330neo (new engine option), their views expressed at press conferences during the Farnborough Airshow underscore the market response to this newly-launched jetliner:

15 July 2014 Feature story

Tony Fernandes, Co-founder and Director of AirAsia X, announcing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for 50 A330neo aircraft, positioning it to take the first delivery in 2017:

“This is a phenomenal aircraft – and I think it will be one of the best-sellers.  AirAsia is all about growing the market…and we require partners who go the extra mile to bring down costs, which is what we have with Airbus and Rolls-Royce. Our aim is to make Asia a smaller place, to allow Asians to fly point-to-point, to places they never dreamt about flying before, and with this new aircraft – connecting with our A320 fleet – becomes a critical piece of our strategy.”

Steven F. Udvar-Házy, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Air Lease Corporation, signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for 25 A330neo aircraft, with deliveries beginning in 2018:

“The A330neo will be a superb follow-on to A330 family, and a very versatile airplane.  From a market point of view, 75-80 per cent of all flights worldwide using twin-aisle widebody jetliners with seating for 250-350 passengers are less than eight hours in duration. This is where the A330 has done very well, and it is where we see the A330neo extending the aircraft family’s life at least another 20-25 years. The world’s fastest-growing marketplace continues to be Asia-Pacific; with its largest growth in sub-eight-hour flight durations.  The A330neo is optimized for this, so when we look at where the largest area for growth is for expansion in the next 10-20 years, the A330neo’s range hits the ‘sweet spot.’”  Our extensive market survey with many, many of our airline customers indicate there is a 1,100-aircraft market demand specifically for the A330neo between now and the end of the next decade.”

Jeff Knittel, President of CIT Transportation & International Finance, which announced a commitment to order 15 A330neo aircraft, with deliveries beginning in 2018:

With a proven fuselage, the improved wing, an up-to-date modern interior, and engines that provide a 14 per cent improvement in fuel burned, we think this is a very powerful combination – and one that our customers are going to like.  From our current portfolio, which has a number of A330s today, this is a logical step for CIT and we look forward to this being one of many opportunities to buy the A330neo. The commitment we have signed is for the A330-900neo and we have flexibility for the A330-800neo versions, which is very important in meeting airlines’ needs. We think both of the aircraft are excellent airplanes on both the trip-cost and seat-mile basis.”  

John Higgins, President and Chief Commercial Officer of global aircraft leasing firm Avolon, announcing a Memorandum of Understanding for 15 A330-900neos, with deliveries beginning in 2018:

There is no question in our mind that the ‘sweet spot’ for this airplane will be in Asia, with the very significant growth.  Our own market forecasts foresee huge potential in its emerging city pairs…city pairs that don’t even exist today…and this airplane will be the right fit for the next 20 years.  The A330ceo is the current workhorse in the region – the airplane of choice. We see an evolution as the average range flown by twin-aisle aircraft in the A330neo category eventually comes down, so the market niche for this particular airplane is going to be quite large – probably larger than we anticipated.  As suggested by our own forecasts for some 4,000 airplanes in this sector, our sense is the A330neo will garner somewhere between 25-35 percent – representing 1,000-plus aircraft.

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