AirAsia X finally added 34 new Airbus A330neo during Farnborough Air Show in the UK. The total order for the European long haul aircraft is now reaching 100 units.
AirAsia Group will buy another 34 Airbus A330neo over the confirmation of buying 66 aircraft of the same type. The announcement was finalized last week during the Farnborough Air Show hosted in the UK.
The Malaysian low cost carrier is due to fetch 30 billion US dollars for the 100 long-haul wide-body jets. Delivery of the aircraft is due to start by the second half of 2019 with aircraft joining equally AirAsia X operational bases in Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Bali.
The delivery of a ultra long version of the aircraft would also help the airline to eventually return to Europe by 2021. The ultra-long-haul flight by AAX would probably look first at serving the Kuala Lumpur-London Gatwick route and potentially European destinations out of Bangkok.
If the possibility has not been discarded by AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes, he refused to confirm the return of AirAsia to Europe. “It turns harder to make money onto Europe with the current level of oil prices, ” he declared to media.
The airline also has a firm order for 10 A350-900s placed in 2009, but AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes declared last April that the jet was “too expensive” and would not be purchased.
“I don’t think we’ll be taking any 350-900s,” he indicated last week, adding the orders would probably be converted to A330neos as the carrier is looking at its long haul expansion with a unique model of aircraft.
The Airbus A330neo will bring significant reduction in fuel consumption. It is estimated that AAsia X fuel buill will be 25% lower than the older generation aircraft of similar size. Coupled with 5% saving in maintenance cost, the A330neo is able to reduce cost by 11-12%, explained AirAsia Group CEO.
The airline will be the launching carrier for the A330neo.