Credit by Airbus A330Neo © International Aviation News
AirAsia X to Spend US$30b for 100 Airbus A330Neo

AirAsia X to Spend US$30b for 100 Airbus A330Neo

AirAsia X, the long-haul arm of low-cost carrier AirAsia Group Bhd, has ordered 100 A330neo long-haul widebody passenger jets from European planemaker Airbus in a deal worth US$30bil.

AirAsia Group Bhd CEO and AirAsia X Co-Group CEO Tony Fernandes said the new aircraft will replace its older fleet and create cost savings of between 11% and 12%.

He said the first order would be delivered in April next year while the second batch of orders by third quarter of 2019.

“With these new planes, we can now go to London. We’re not announcing that we’re launching flights to London, but with these new planes, it will be possible,” Fernandes said in a special announcement Thursday.

Fernandes said the deal will be funded through cash flow and leasebacks.

“We’re looking at 14% savings in cost, 5% savings in maintenance... a lot of savings,” he said.

He said the decision not only to reconfirm its existing order for 66 A330neo, but to add 34 more, follows what is probably one of the most thorough aircraft evaluations the industry has ever seen.

AirAsia X | Airlines Inform
AirAsia X | Airlines Inform

“We have looked at every aspect of the A330neo from technical performance and reliability to passenger comfort and it is clearly the right aircraft for us to expand efficiently our fast-growing long haul network,” Fernandes said

Meanwhile, in a statement released from at the Farnborough Air Show in the UK, AirAsia X said the 100 aircraft ordered included the additional 34 A330neo widebody aircraft.

All the A330neo aircraft ordered by AirAsia X are the larger A330-900 model.

Offering range capability enabling non-stop services to Europe, including from Kuala Lumpur to London, the A330neo will allow AirAsia X to expand its value-based long haul model with even lower operating costs, while enabling its

passengers to fly further more often with highly competitive fares.

AirAsia X will be the first airline in Asia to operate the A330neo, with deliveries of aircraft on order with Airbus scheduled to start in Q4 2019. The A330neo will be operated by AirAsia X out of its bases in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

AirAsia co-founder and AirAsia X group CEO Kamarudin Meranun said: "Long haul low-cost is something we strongly believe in, and this order shows our confidence in the AirAsia X model.

“We lobbied hard for the A330neo after seeing the success of the A320neo, and working closely with Airbus, we have arrived at an aircraft that we are confident will allow us to expand our low fares offering beyond Asia Pacific to the rest of the world.”

Airbus chief commercial officer Eric Schulz said the aircraft maker was extremely pleased to announce this important agreement with AirAsia X.

“This is the strongest possible endorsement for the unbeatable operating economics, performance and cost-effectiveness that the A330neo brings to the market in its size category,” he said.

The A330neo is the latest version of the twin aisle A330 Family. It incorporates new generation Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, a new optimised wing and increased use of lighter composite materials.

Together, these advances bring a significant reduction in fuel consumption of 25% compared with older generation aircraft of similar size.

Passengers can expect the highest levels of comfort when flying on the A330neo, with the aircraft featuring the award-winning Airspace by Airbus cabin.

Originally designed for the larger A350 XWB, this features newly designed sidewalls and fixtures, larger overhead storage, advanced cabin mood lighting and the latest in-flight entertainment and connectivity.

The A330 Family is one of the most successful widebody product lines ever, having received over 1,700 orders from 120 customers.

More than 1,400 A330s are flying with over 120 operators worldwide. Including Thursday’s announcement, the A330neo has already won some 250 firm orders prior to entry-into-service.

The A330neo is currently nearing completion of its flight test programme with certification expected in the coming weeks followed by entry into commercial service in September.


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