AirAsia, the region's largest low cost carrier, has placed a firm order for an additional 50 A320s, with a further 50 A320s on option. The contract was signed on the 8th of January 2007 by Tony Fernandes, Group Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia and John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer Customers of Airbus, and brings the AirAsia Group's (Malaysia AirAsia, Thai AirAsia and Indonesia AirAsia) total orders to 150 aircraft, plus 50 options and, in doing so, makes it one of Airbus' largest customers for the aircraft type.
AirAsia placed its original order for 60 A320s in March 2005, with a re-order for an additional 40 aircraft announced at the Farnborough Airshow in July 2006. The airline currently operates a fleet of 15 A320s on a rapidly expanding domestic and regional network.
The A320s are steadily replacing AirAsia's old generation Boeing 737 fleet and are destined to do the same at Thai AirAsia and Indonesia AirAsia in 2007 and 2008, respectively. AirAsia's Kuala Lumpur hub will be fully operated with A320s by July 2007.
"We are very happy with the A320. The addition of the A320 to our fleet has helped AirAsia tremendously in our efforts to boost efficiency, enhance reliability, reduce costs and provide higher service levels for our guests (passengers). Our guests love the aircraft - leather seats, wider seat pitch and greater comfort. AirAsia just turned five in December 2006 and we have carried over 27 million guests to date. As we enter 'Chapter 2' of AirAsia the additional order will allow us to further strengthen our route network in the region by developing our hubs in Bangkok and Jakarta, connecting more points and expanding into Indo China, Indonesia, Southern China and India. AirAsia will become the second largest A320 operator in the world by year 2012," said Datuk Tony Fernandes.
"AirAsia has proved to be an outstanding success in pioneering the low cost airline concept in the dynamic Asian market. We are delighted that a very large A320 fleet will play a critical role in the airline's long term growth plans. With its unbeatable economics and enormous passenger appeal, I am confident that the A320 is destined to take AirAsia to even greater heights in the future," said John Leahy.
With more than 4,900 aircraft ordered and almost 3,000 delivered to 187 operators, the A318, A319, A320 and A321 make up the world's best-selling single-aisle aircraft family. Designed to optimise revenue through cabin adaptability and passenger comfort and featuring the most modern and complete fly-by-wire technology available on any single-aisle aircraft, they ensure savings in every element of direct operating cost and provide operators with the highest degree of operational commonality and economy for aircraft in the 100-220 seat category.
The A320 Family's optimised cabin cross-section - the widest single-aisle fuselage on the market - sets new standards for passenger cabin flexibility in this segment. It allows for top-of-the-range comfort with wider seats and aisles, or an extra-wide aisle for the fast turnarounds that are essential in the low-cost markets.
Superior cabin size and shape allow larger overhead stowage to be fitted for faster boarding and deplaning as well as greater convenience.
The A320 Family's impressive level of dispatch reliability further enhances profitability and passenger service. In addition, the A320 Family is an environmentally responsible neighbour, offering the lowest fuel burn, emissions and noise footprints in its class.
Airbus is an EADS company.