Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - AirAsia announces $30B deal to buy 100 planes from Airbus

AirAsia announces $30B deal to buy 100 planes from Airbus

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
AirAsia flight attendants attend a press conference in Sepang, outside Kuala Lumpur on Thursday. The Malaysian budget airline announced an additional order of 34 Airbus A330neo planes, bringing the total value of its expanded 100-plane order to $30 billion as it sets its sights on European routes. Mohd RASFAN/afp

AirAsia announces $30B deal to buy 100 planes from Airbus

Malaysian budget airline AirAsia on Thursday announced an additional order of 34 Airbus A330neo planes, bringing the total value of its expanded 100-plane order to $30 billion as it sets its sights on European routes.

The first delivery of the jets will arrive towards the end of 2019 and will allow the airline to take on longer non-stop routes to Europe, AirAsia boss Tony Fernandes said at a media event.

These will be used by its long-haul arm, AirAsia X, replacing its older first-generation A330s.

“We can now start the London route ... This plane allows us to fly to Brazil, Namibia and anywhere we want,” he said.

The Kuala Lumpur-London route was dropped in 2012 due to low demand and high fuel prices.

“We lobbied hard for the A330neo after seeing the success of the A320neo, and working closely with Airbus, we have arrived at an aircraft that we are confident will allow us to expand our low fares offering beyond Asia Pacific to the rest of the world,” AirAsia X chief executive Kamarudin Meranun said.

The deal makes AirAsia the biggest Asian customer of European aviation giant Airbus, which has been locked in a tight battle for dominance with US rival Boeing.

The twin-aisled A330neos are a fuel-efficient upgrade of the current A330s operated by AirAsia. Fitted with Rolls Royce Trent 7000 engines, the planes will reduce fuel consumption by 25 percent, the planemakers said.

But the jet has been edged out by the newer Boeing 787 and was depending on AirAsia to revive sales of the upgraded long-haul plane.

Boeing on Thursday said it had firmed up an order for at least 10 787s from Hawaiian Airlines after the airline cancelled an order for the A330neo.

Fernandes also said Airasia and Airbus have began “talks” to explore cooperation to develop an industrial aviation centre in Malaysia which will include a repair and overhaul facility and a training centre.

AirAsia is Asia’s largest budget carrier by fleet size but has been hit by some negative publicity recently.

In May, Indian authorities raided the airline’s local offices and accused Fernandes of illegally obtaining operating licences.

Earlier that month, Fernandes apologised for a controversial stunt endorsing Malaysia’s scandal-tainted prime minister Najib Razak in the country’s general election, in which he suffered a stunning defeat.

Fernandes, a millionaire ex-music executive, has styled himself as Asia’s answer to British tycoon Richard Branson.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Cambodia resumes issuance of tourist visas

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has announced the resumption of its tourist visa and visa exemption programme after a long hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In a letter dated October 20 and addressed to foreign embassies and consulates, foreign minister Prak Sokhonn

  • S’ville set to turn into ‘second Shenzhen’

    The Ministry of Economy and Finance has awarded a master plan consultancy contract to top Chinese institute for the development and transformation of Preah Sihanouk province into a “Model Multi-Purpose Special Economic Zone”, Southeast Asia’s next logistics and resort hub and innovation centre. The