The Airbus A350 is to Expensive for AirAsia X

air transport, AirAsia, low cost airlines, Malaysia, Thailand

Thai AirAsia X aircraft at Don Mueang Airport in Bangkok

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.

 The A350-900 has a longer range but also comes with a higher list price of $317.4 million, compared with the $296.4 million price of the A330-900neo. Airlines typically receive large discounts from the list prices.

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.

(Source: Reuters)