Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Air Asia X purchased 10 A350

Tony Fernandes just posted on his Facebook a few minutes ago on the deal that Air Asia X bought 10 A350! Great to see Air Asia keeps on expanding, despite the tough economy. These 10 planes would be delivered between 2016 and 2018. Wow! 7 years to get the plane!

Quoting from Malaysian Insider


PARIS, June 16 — Low-cost carrier AirAsia has agreed to buy 10 wide-body Airbus A350 for affiliate AirAsia X in a US$2.2 billion (RM7.8 billion) deal signed today at the Paris Air Show, with an option for five more of the A350-900 variant.

The 10 aircraft will be delivered between 2016 and 2018 to complement its present A330 fleet. The A350 is configured to seat 425 passengers in a two-class layout.

"By buying the Airbus A350, AirAsia and AirAsia X have now got its strategy fixed all the way to 2020. The vision of creating the world's first long-haul and short-haul low cost airline is complete and we are all very excited," AirAsia Group CEO Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes said in a statement.

The statement said the purchase indicates AirAsia X's ambition to fly further afield and to serve more destinations than it currently serves, which include London (UK), Melbourne, Perth and Gold Coast (Australia) and Tianjin and Hangzhou (China).

The long-haul airline has ordered 25 A330's that are due to be delivered through 2015, two of which have been delivered so far since October 2008.

AirAsia is also the largest customer of Airbus A320 aircraft, with a firm order of 175 aircraft and the option for another 50 signed in 2005. Sixty A320s have been delivered so far and the remaining will be delivered through to 2014.

"Under the current great uncertainties in global economy where legacy airlines are cutting routes and grounding staff and aircraft, AirAsia and AirAsia X is determined to fulfil and realise our potential.

"The economic downturn presents AirAsia as Asia's largest low cost carrier, an unprecedented opportunity to gain market share with our low-fare, high-quality business model," said Fernandes, who is also a director of AirAsia X.

AirAsia X CEO Azran Osman-Rani said the carrier chose the A350 XWB for its operating economics and exceptional passenger appeal.

"We believe the A350 aircraft will be an industry game-changer that will allow us to dramatically operate with unprecedented unit costs for long-haul flights to Europe and North America, opening up new tourism markets and exciting destinations," he said.  AirAsia was recently named the World's Best Low Cost Airline by Skytrax in a recent survey of 16.2 million travellers.

AirAsia's passenger volume grew by 21 per cent year-on-year to 3.1 million in the first quarter of 2009.  It has so far carried over 70 million guests.

"We are extremely pleased to add AirAsia X to the customer base of the A350 XWB," said Airbus President and CEO Tom Enders, adding the aircraft offers a 25 per cent reduction in fuel burn that will ensure AirAsia X benefits from the lowest possible operating costs per seat of any aircraft in its class.

The A350 XWB Family is Airbus' response to widespread market demand for a series of highly efficient medium-capacity long-range wide-body aircraft. With a range of up to 15,400km, it is available in three basic passenger versions.

The A350 has the widest fuselage in its category, offering unprecedented levels of comfort, the lowest operating costs and lowest seat/mile cost of any aircraft in this market segment.

Powered by two new generation Rolls Royce Trent XWB engines, the A350 XWB Family is designed to confront the challenges of high fuel prices, rising passenger expectations, and environmental concerns.

Firm orders for the A350 XWB now stand at 493 from 31 customers worldwide.

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