AirAsia X has placed an order with Airbus for an additional 34 A330neo widebody aircraft.
The order was announced by Kamarudin Meranun, AirAsia co-founder and AirAsia X group chief executive officer, Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, chairman of AirAsia X, and Eric Schulz, Airbus chief commercial officer.
The latest agreement reaffirms AirAsia X’s position as the largest airline customer for the A330neo, with the total number of aircraft ordered by the airline increasing to 100.
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 furthermore 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 quarter for of 2019.
The A330neo will be operated by AirAsia X out of its bases in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.
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.”
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 per cent compared with older generation aircraft of similar size.
Schulz added: “We are 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.
“We look forward to working with AirAsia X on the entry into service of this great aircraft with the carrier as it expands its route network to more destinations around the world.”
An Airbus A330-900 is currently priced at US$296 million.