AirAsia X has welcomed its first leased long-haul Airbus A330-300 at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport Low Cost Carrier Terminal.The aircraft is named ‘Semangat Sir Freddie’, in tribute to the pioneer of the low cost model, the late Sir Freddie Laker. The Airbus A330-300 has a range of up to 10,500km/5,650nm (approximately nine-hours flight time) and has been flown for more than five million operational hours.
The aircraft was delivered to AirAsia X from Ansett Worldwide Services (AWAS), a leading international aircraft leasing company, on a six-year lease. It complements AirAsia X’s purchase of fifteen new Airbus A330s announced earlier. Those planes will be delivered over five years starting from September 2008.
Azran Osman-Rani, AirAsia X’s CEO said “AirAsia X aims to build on AirAsia’s tradition of innovating the short haul, low-cost carrier model by introducing a number of features unique to the long-haul service. These include a target seat configuration of over 390 seats - more than 100 more than traditional users of the A330-300 - while maintaining a comfortable seat pitch of 31” and a recline similar to that offered by international legacy carriers.”
He added, “AirAsia X will also be introducing 28 premium seats offering the spaciousness and comfort equivalent to the legacy carriers’ business class seat, but at a fare equivalent to a full-fare economy ticket on other carriers.”
Additional new features to be introduced on AirAsia X include assigned seating for passengers, and the convenience of pre-selecting one’s own seat during the booking process. Passengers will also have the opportunity to purchase additional products and services such as hot meals, amenity kits, and eventually in-flight entertainment, on an “a la carte” basis.
Dato’ Tony Fernandes, Founder Director of AirAsia X and Group CEO of AirAsia, said, “This is an important day for both AirAsia X and AirAsia. AirAsia is delighted to have finalised its 20% investment in AirAsia X, and is determined to work with AirAsia X to realise the mutual synergies that exist between both companies, including realising the joint benefits from feeding into and out of each other’s network. Similar to AirAsia, AirAsia X offers a fundamentally different product to full service carriers. The low cost model has proven that it grows the overall market and I believe the low fares offered by AirAsia X will help fulfil the untapped demand within Southeast Asia for affordable long haul international travel.”