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

  • With herd immunity likely in 2022, is Cambodia ready to reopen for tourism?

    The government aims to inoculate 80 per cent of the target population by June next year, giving it a head start among regional peers to reboot the sector but first, it has to do a few things to up its game A sign on a glass

  • US wants 'full access' to Ream Naval Base

    On June 11, the US embassy's Defense Attaché Colonel Marcus M Ferrara visited Ream Nava Base in coordination with Cambodian officials following the recent approval of Prime minister Hun Sen to allay the concerns on Chinese military presence at the base as raised by US Deputy

  • US embassy guard gets Covid despite two doses of Pfizer jab

    The Covid-19 tracking commission on June 4 said a security guard at the US embassy in Phnom Penh had contracted the novel coronavirus, despite having received a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech shot two weeks ago. Embassy spokesperson Chad Roedemeier confirmed the SARS-CoV-2 infection to The

  • Jab drive heading to 5 provinces

    The government is set to vaccinate more than 1.2 million people in five provinces after finishing with Phnom Penh and neighbouring Kandal in an ongoing campaign administered by the ministries of Health and National Defence. The five provinces are Preah Sihanouk, Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kampong Cham

  • Kingdom set to be a gold producer

    Cambodia will soon join the roster of gold producing countries after the government announced the commencement of commercial gold mining operations in the Okvau area in southwestern Mondulkiri province's Keo Seima district from June 21. Prime Minister Hun Sen on June 10 announced that after 14 years of

  • School reopening can’t wait

    With the Covid-19 pandemic now well into its second year, safely reopening schools has become an urgent priority. School attendance is critical for children’s education and lifetime prospects. The long-term costs of closures – both for individual children and society – are simply too large to