Posted on: 22 June 2011 by Ross McSweeny
AirAsia has placed a stunning order for 200 CFM LEAP-powered Airbus A320neos in the largest ever Airbus order in terms of numbers and the third largest in value.
The deal was described by Airbus CEO Tom Enders as “a truly historic announcement”.
After regaling those present about the convivial circumstances in which the MoU for the deal was signed on Valentine’s Day (14 February) earlier this year, AirAsia Group CEO, Tony Fernandes, noted that the first deal with Airbus was only just over six years ago in March 2005 and paid tribute to the airframer for its support. “It’s important to say thanks as we won’t be coming back ordering another 200 next year,” he stated. “There was a belief in AirAsia from Airbus as when we first signed with them I said to John [Leahy, COO–customers], ‘Give us a good price on the first 60 aeroplanes and one day I’ll buy 500’.”
On the financing of the aircraft, Fernandes said the money would come from cash flow and the debt market. “Already, of our 87 aircraft, only four are on sale and leaseback deals. Also, there are the imminent IPOs of Thai AirAsia and Indonesia AirAsia. And AirAsia Philippines will also go public eventually.”
Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/LARAnews.net