AirAsia X, the long-haul unit of the AirAsia Group, has finalised a firm order with Airbus for an additional 12 A330-900 and 30 A321XLR aircraft. The contract was signed by On August 30 Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, chairman, AirAsia X Berhad and Guillaume Faury, CEO, Airbus in Kuala, in the presence of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, CEO, AirAsia Group, who was present at the signing, said: “This order reaffirms our selection of the A330neo as the most efficient choice for our future widebody 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. Together, these aircraft are perfect partners for long-haul low cost operations and will allow us to build further on our market leading position in this fast-growing sector.”
Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, Chairman of AirAsia X Berhad, said: “Today’s announcement is testament to our confidence and commitment to longer haul air travel. This is the future of our long-haul operations. The A330neo’s revolutionary new features and modifications 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 aircraft ordered by AirAsia X to 78, reaffirming the carrier’s status as the largest airline customer for the type. Meanwhile, the A321XLR 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.