Malaysia’s AirAsia X Bhd has no plans to buy the Airbus A350 widebody jet, the airline’s co-group CEO said on Monday, despite the airline having 10 of them on order.
The A350 is not an aircraft we will buy,” AirAsia X co-group CEO Tony Fernandes said in a Facebook Live chat from London. “Too expensive. Fares would go up.”
AirAsia X, the long-haul arm of AirAsia Bhd. placed a firm order for 10 A350s in June 2009. It later ordered 66 A330neos, an updated version of the A330s it has in its current fleet.
Manufacturers sometimes allow airlines to swap models even though they have placed firm orders and paid deposits, meaning AirAsia X might be able to convert the A350 order to other Airbus jets like the A330neo or A320 family.
The AirAsia group is one of Airbus’ largest customers, but AirAsia X has also been talking to Boeing Co about buying the rival 787-10 jet, according to a source familiar with the discussions. However, in early March, Group CEO Tony Fernandes indicated at a press briefing to stick with Airbus, confirming that they are no plans currently to purchase Boeing aircraft.
A final decision on AirAsia X’s future fleet is expected later this year, the source said on condition of anonymity. The 787-10 has a list price of $325.8 million. Airasia X in both Malaysia and Thailand is due to take delivery of six aircraft this year. Three will go to AirAsia X in Malaysia and three others to the Thai operation.
A spokeswoman for the AirAsia group said it was unable to comment on the fate of the A350 orders or whether the airline was in talks with Boeing about the 787-10.