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 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.
Today’s announcement sees the total number of A320 Family ordered by AirAsia rise to 575, reaffirming the carrier’s position as the largest airline customer for the Airbus single aisle product line. To date, over 170 A320s have already been delivered to the airline and are flying with its units in Malaysia, India, Indonesia, Japan 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.”
Fernandes added, “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.”
“We are extremely pleased to receive this additional order from AirAsia,” said Fabrice Brégier, President & CEO, Airbus. “This is another strong endorsement for 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.”
The A320 Family is the world’s best-selling single aisle product line with nearly 12,600 orders since launch and more than 7,100 aircraft delivered to some 320 operators worldwide. The A320neo Family incorporates latest technologies including new generation engines and Sharklet wing tip devices, which together deliver more than 15 percent in fuel savings from day one and 20 percent by 2020 with further cabin innovations.