Airline embarks on major expansion with popular Airbus widebody
AirAsia X, the long haul affiliate of the AirAsia Group, has placed a firm order with Airbus for 25 more A330-300s. The contract is the largest A330 order received by Airbus in a single purchase agreement and increases the carrier’s total firm orders for the type to 51. These will be supplemented by another six A330-300s leased from International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC).
The contract was signed in Paris today by Azran Osman-Rani, CEO of AirAsia X and Fabrice Brégier, President and CEO, Airbus, witnessed by Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, Co-founder and Director of AirAsia X.
AirAsia X will start taking delivery of its newly-ordered A330-300s in 2015 as it begins a major expansion of its network across the Asia-Pacific region. The new order includes the latest extended range versions of the A330-300, providing the carrier with the ability to offer non-stop service to destinations in Europe or one-stop service to the US.
Tan Sri’ Tony Fernandes, Co-Founder and Director of AirAsia X said, “This order stamps our firm intent to dominate the long-haul, low cost carrier space and marks the next phase in our development to be the undisputed global market leader. Our commitment would allow us to remain as the youngest wide body fleet age in the region at under five years throughout 2019, with corresponding competitive fuel efficiency, reliability and cabin comfort benefits.”
“The aircraft orders would further cater to our expansion plans in Malaysia, and the proposed new Thai AirAsia X hub as well as other long-haul ventures planned across Asia. The developments will complement the AirAsia Group's long-term vision of developing its presence in key markets in Asia and strengthen the connectivity between long-haul and short-haul low-cost network.”
“AirAsia X has proven that it is possible to build a highly successful low cost long haul business,” said Fabrice Brégier President and CEO, Airbus. “And the A330 is the perfect platform for such operations, with the lowest operating costs, true long range flying capability and a proven track record of exceptional technical reliability. We look forward to working with AirAsia X as it continues to innovate in the low cost long haul market.”
AirAsia X currently operates 16 A330-300s on services linking its Kuala Lumpur base to destinations in Asia, the Middle East and the Pacific. In addition to A330s, the carrier also has 10 A350-XWB aircraft on order for future delivery.
The latest order from AirAsia X further consolidates the position of the AirAsia Group as one of Airbus’s largest airline customers in the world. In total the Group has now ordered 536 aircraft from the manufacturer. These include 475 A320 Family single aisle aircraft for AirAsia’s short haul operations based out of Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Jakarta and Manila, plus the 51 A330s and 10 A350 XWBs for AirAsia The twin engine A330 is one of the most widely used widebody aircraft in service today. To date, Airbus has won more than 1,280 orders for the various versions of the aircraft. More than 1,000 A330s have already been delivered and the aircraft is currently flying with almost 100 operators worldwide.