Posted on: 12 July 2016 by Mark Howells
AirAsia has signed a firm order with Airbus for the purchase of 100 A321neo aircraft, marking the first time the carrier has opted for the largest model in the A320 family.
CEO of AirAsia, Tony Fernandes, revealed the aircraft will seat up to 240 passengers in a single class layout.
The announcement sees the total number of A320 family aircraft ordered by AirAsia rise to 575, reaffirming the carrier’s position as the largest airline customer for the Airbus single aisle product line. To date, over 170 A320s have already been delivered to AirAsia and are flying with its units in Malaysia, India, Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines.
“AirAsia Group currently operates close to 1,000 flights per day to more than 120 destinations in 24 countries,” averred Fernandes. “We recorded a robust load factor of 85% in the first quarter of 2016, up 8 percentage points from the same period last year, and we are confident of maintaining this momentum going forward. The A321neo will help us to meet ongoing strong demand as well as further reduce our cost per available seat kilometre across the group, which will translate to lower airfares for our guests. We would like to congratulate Airbus for producing the state-of-the-art A321neo aircraft that meets our requirements for efficient operations.
“The A321neo will be operated on our most popular routes and especially at airports with infrastructure constraints,” Fernandes continued. “It will allow us to bring higher passenger volumes with the same slots, therefore providing immediate benefits to the airports. These include, among others, more efficient operations, higher revenues from passenger service charges, and more airport retail purchases. We will also continue to maintain our 25-minute turnaround with two- or three-step boarding where permitted to ensure on-time performance.”
Fabrice Brégier, president and CEO of Airbus, stated, “We are extremely pleased to receive this additional order from AirAsia. This is another strong endorsement for largest member of our single aisle family, which is now the clear market leader in the 200+ seat category. We look forward to seeing A321neo flying in AirAsia colours and contributing to the airline’s continued success as one of the world’s leading low cost carriers.”
Photo credit: Airbus