AirAsia has taken delivery of its 100th Airbus A320 aircraft, becoming the world’s largest operator of the single-aisle jet.
The carrier’s latest fleet addition carries the wording: “Thank you Louis Gallois” on its main passenger door, in a tribute to the former Airbus CEO who will leave parent company EADS next week.
During a ceremony at Airbus’ Toulouse delivery centre, the A320 was unveiled in the presence of Gallois and AirAsia’s Group CEO Tony Fernandes, along with Airbus’ President & CEO Thomas Enders and John Leahy, Airbus’ Chief Operating Officer for Customers.
“Air Asia could not have reached this point in our amazing story without the tremendous support we’ve received from Airbus, going back to the start of our relationship in 2004,” Fernandes said. “No airline could have grown like ours without the support of such a great partner as Airbus, who has seen us through both the good and bad times.”
“Gallois has played an enormous role in helping us achieve this growth, and naming the 100th aircraft after him is one way to thank this friend of our airline for his warmth, friendship, patience, and especially his belief – which is a key element at Airbus,” he added. “What Airbus did was believe two guys from the music industry who had a dream about making it easier to fly, and they have stayed with that belief in helping us deliver on that ambition and transforming travel in Asia forever.”
The airline currently has 375 A320s on order, including Airbus’ A320neos – the new fuel-efficient version of the narrow-body jet..
“The A320 delivers fantastic reliability, and we work these aircraft very hard: flying them almost 14 hours a day – conducting eight landings and takeoffs, performing turnarounds in 25 minutes,” Fernandes concluded.