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Air Asia X Chooses Airbus A321XLR Over A330neo
AirAsia X, the long-haul unit of the AirAsia Group, has finalized a firm order with Airbus for an additional 12 A330-900 and 30 A321XLR aircraft. The contract was signed by Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, Chairman, AirAsia X Berhad and Guillaume Faury, Chief Executive Officer, Airbus in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, in the presence of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
This finalized order of 12 A330-900s represents a cut of 22 aircraft of the type the carrier is set to receive, as a major order for 34 A330neo aircraft was signed last year at the Farnborough Airshow. Given the capabilities of the A321XLR, it makes perfect sense that the new long-range variant of the A320 family was selected to cover Air Asia X’s route network.
“This order reaffirms our selection of the A330neo as the most efficient choice for our future widebody fleet. In addition, the A321XLR offers the longest flying range of any single aisle aircraft and will enable us to introduce services to new destinations.” Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, Chief Executive Officer, AirAsia Group, said in a press release.
The new contract increases the number of A330neo aircraft ordered by AirAsia X to 78, reaffirming the carrier’s status as the largest airline customer for the type. Meanwhile, the A321XLR order sees the wider AirAsia Group strengthen its position as the world’s largest airline customer for the A320 Family, with an updated total of 622 aircraft.
AirAsia X currently operates a fleet of 36 A330-300s on services to points within the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East. In addition, the first A330neo joined the fleet of AirAsia’s Bangkok-based long-haul affiliate, AirAsia X Thailand. The aircraft is the first of two leased A330neos joining the airline’s Thai affiliate by the end of the year.
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