AirAsia X, the long haul low cost unit of the Malaysia-based AirAsia Group, has taken delivery of its first new A330-300. The aircraft was handed over at a special ceremony at Airbus headquarters in Toulouse today in the presence of the Malaysian Minister of Transport, Dato? Ong Tee Keat.
The new aircraft is the first of 25 A330-300s ordered by AirAsia X for the development of its long haul operation, linking Kuala Lumpur with destinations in Australia, North Asia, the Middle East and Europe, complementing the existing AirAsia network.
Powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines, the carrier?s new A330 offers accommodation for 383 passengers in a two-class layout, with 355 seats in Economy and 28 in the airline?s new XL premium class.
?The A330 is the perfect aircraft to enable the AirAsia Group to extend its winning low cost model to the long haul market?, said Azran Osman Rani, Chief Executive Officer, AirAsia X. ?With its incredibly low fuel burn, the clean and green A330 will enable us to improve cost efficiency and grow the overall air travel market by tapping a new segment of passengers through the offering of the best possible fares?.
?The delivery of the first A330 for AirAsia X marks another milestone in the close partnership between Airbus and the AirAsia Group,? said Tom Enders, Airbus President and Chief Executive Officer. ?Combining proven passenger appeal with the lowest operating costs of any mid-size widebody aircraft in service today, the A330 is uniquely placed to allow AirAsia X set a new standard in long haul low cost travel?.
In total, the AirAsia Group has placed firm orders with Airbus for 200 aircraft, comprising 25 A330s for AirAsia X and 175 single aisle A320s for the short haul operation.
The twin engine A330 is one of the most widely used widebody aircraft in service today. To date, Airbus has won more than 1,000 orders for the various versions of the aircraft. More than 550 A330s have already been delivered and the aircraft is currently flying with over 70 airlines worldwide.
Airbus is an EADS company.