Airline embarks on major expansion with orders of 25 A330-300s
PARIS, 18 December 2013
AirAsia X, the long haul, low fare airline affiliate of the AirAsia Group has placed the largest single “airline” firm order for 25 more A330-300s with Airbus. This is the world’s largest single order in a single purchase agreement valued at US$6 billion by an airline for the A330-300 type fleet.
This increases AirAsia X’s order to 51 from Airbus supplemented by an order of 6 A330-300s leased from the International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC), bringing AirAsia X’s total confirmed fleet deliveries to 57 by 2019.
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.
The agreement was signed by Azran Osman-Rani, CEO of AirAsia X and Fabrice Bregier, President and CEO of Airbus and witnessed by Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, Co-founder and Director of AirAsia X and John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer, Customers, Airbus. The signing ceremony took place today at the Shangri-La hotel, Paris with the attendance of Airbus and AirAsia X representatives and members of the media.
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. We foresee strong market potential based on a low penetration rate of under 10% for low cost carriers in the beyond 4 hour market across Asia Pacific. Hence, we estimate a market size of about 100 low cost carrier wide-bodies in the region if it grew to 35% over the next five years.”
“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 Farbrice Brégier, President & 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 track 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 15 A330-300s on services linking its Kuala Lumpur base to 18 destinations in Asia, Australia and Saudi Arabia. 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 X.
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.