Dedicates the aircraft to commemorate James Rao, late son of Dr. Kiran Rao, EVP, Airbus Sepang, 27 JUNE 2014
The AirAsia Group took delivery of its 150th Airbus A320 today. The airline is dedicating this aircraft to James Rao, the son of Dr Kiran Rao, Airbus Executive Vice President; who recently lost his life to cancer at the age of 21.
This 150th Airbus A320, which will be operated by Malaysia AirAsia (flight code AK) is dedicated to celebrate James' life and his name was etched onto the aircraft to commemorate his life. James obtained his Commercial Pilots License in 2012 and was a First Officer flying the Airbus A320 aircraft. James had been an inspiration to many young people, achieving his dream of flying the A320 at such a young age and his active work in engaging with underprivileged children and orphans in Mumbai, India.
To continue with his son's legacy, Dr. Kiran Rao has set up a foundation aptly named 'James Rao, Live Your Dream' with the vision to help young people live their dreams and inspire them to be pilots.
Tony Fernandes, Group CEO of AirAsia said, "Kiran is a dear friend, and I've had the privilege to know James personally over the years. He was a great kid with a big heart. I have seen the good work he was doing with underprivileged children. We are glad to partner Kiran's family and contribute towards the 'James Rao, Live Your Dream' foundation which will help provide a platform to support more young people to become pilots."
The A320 single-aisle jetliner family is the world's best-selling, single-aisle aircraft family. It is used in a full range of services from very short-haul airline routes to intercontinental segments.
AirAsia stamps its dominance in Asia with a record total of 475 single aisle A320s and A320neos on order with Airbus with deliveries up to year 2026.
"The Airbus A320 aircraft has contributed immensely towards our business model and our operations as a group. We run a 100% Airbus A320 fleet across Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and now India and look forward to continue our long-standing relationship with Airbus for many more aircraft to come in our expanding fleet," added Tony Fernandes.
AirAsia is also the world's first airline which took delivery of an Airbus A320 aircraft installed with Sharklet wing tips, becoming the first operator of the new fuel-saving large wing tip devices and the world's first operator outside of China of a fully-assembled Airbus A320 aircraft from Tianjin, China.
At present, the AirAsia Group operates 167 Airbus A320s, which 150 aircraft are direct orders from Airbus; and services the most extensive network across the region with 88 destinations.