KUALA LUMPUR (July 12): AirAsia Bhd has signed a firm order with Airbus today for the purchase of 100 A321neos and the contract was announced at the Farnborough Airshow by AirAsia group chief executive officer (CEO) Tony Fernandes and Airbus president and CEO Fabrice Brégier.
"The contract marks the first order placed by AirAsia for the largest model in the best-selling A320 Family. Seating up to 240 passengers in a single class layout, the A321neo will enable the airline to increase capacity while benefitting from the lowest operating costs in the single aisle category," said Airbus in a statement.
The order will raise the number of aircraft from the A320 family ordered by AirAsia to 575, reaffirming the carrier's position as the largest airline customer for the Airbus single aisle product line.
"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. We are confident of maintaining this momentum.
"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," said Fernandes.
He added the A321neos will be used on the group's most popular routes, especially at airports with infrastructure constraints.
In a Reuters report, Fernandes was quoted as saying the jets will be delivered from 2019.