(Left to right) Airbus CCO Eric Schulz; AirAsia X Chairman Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz; AirAsia Chairman and AirAsia X Group CEO Datuk Kamarudin Meranun at the Commercial Announcement with Airbus held at 2018 Farnborough Airshow - Photo by AirAsia

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – AirAsia’s long-haul affiliate, AirAsia X, has placed an order with Airbus for an additional 34 units of A330neo widebody aircraft, said the company on Friday (20/07).

The order was announced at the Farnborough Air Show in the UK by Datuk 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 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.

“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 the Asia Pacific to the rest of the world,” AirAsia Co-Founder and AirAsia X Group Chief Executive Officer Datuk Kamarudin Meranun said.

AirAsia Co-Founder and AirAsia X Co-Group Chief Executive Officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes added the decision is not only to reconfirm the company’s 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.

“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. I would like to personally thank Eric Schulz, who has been put through his paces with AirAsia, as well as Jerome and Alain. We are a tough customer but we get behind a product we know is right,” he said.

Furthermore, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer Eric Schulz expressed pleased to announce the 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,” 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 per cent 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 today’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.

Written by Staff Editor, Edited by Linda Silaen, Email: theinsiderstories@gmail.com

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