AirAsia has signed a firm order with Airbus for the purchase of 100 A321neo aircraft. The contract was announced at the Farnborough Airshow today by AirAsia Group Chief Executive Officer Tony Fernandes and Airbus President and CEO Fabrice Brégier.
The contract marks the first order placed by AirAsia for the largest model in the A320 family. The announcement sees the total number of A320s ordered by AirAsia increase to 575. To date, over 170 A320s have already been delivered to the airline and are flying with its units in Malaysia, Thailand, India, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Tony Fernandes, AirAsia Group chief executive officer said, “AirAsia Group currently operates close to 1,000 flights per day to more than 120 destinations in 24 countries. We recorded a robust load factor of 85% in the first quarter of 2016, up 8 percentage points from the same period last year, and we are confident of maintaining this momentum going forward.
“The A321neo will help us to meet ongoing strong demand as well as further reduce our cost per Available Seat Kilometre across the group, which will translate to lower air fares for our guests. We would like to congratulate Airbus for producing the state-of-the-art A321neo aircraft that meets our requirements for efficient operations.
“The A321neo will be operated on our most popular routes and especially at airports with infrastructure constraints. It will allow us to bring higher passenger volumes with the same slots, therefore providing immediate benefits to the airports.
“These include, among others, more efficient operations, higher revenues from passenger service charges, and more airport retail purchases. We will also continue to maintain our 25-minute turnaround with two- or three-step boarding where permitted to ensure on-time performance.”
Fabrice Brégier, president & CEO, Airbus, added: “We are extremely pleased to receive this additional order from AirAsia.
“This is another strong endorsement for the largest member of our single aisle family, which is now the clear market leader in the 200 plus seat category. We look forward to see A321neo flying in AirAsia colours and contributing to the airline’s continued success as one of the world’s leading low cost carriers.”