Saturday, 31 August 2019

AirAsia X orders 12 more A330neo and 30 A321XLR aircraft

AirAsia X orders 12 more A330neo and 30 A321XLR aircraft

AirAsia X, the long-haul unit of the AirAsia Group, has finalised a firm order with Airbus for an additional 12 A330-900 and 30 A321XLR aircraft. The contract was signed by Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, Chairman, AirAsia X Berhad and Guillaume Faury, Chief Executive Officer, Airbus in Kuala Lumpur today, in the presence of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, Chief Executive Officer, AirAsia Group, who was present at the signing, said: “This order reaffirms our selection of the A330neo as the most efficient choice for our future wide-body fleet. In addition, the A321XLR offers the longest flying range of any single-aisle aircraft and will enable us to introduce services to new destinations. Together, these aircraft are perfect partners for long-haul low-cost operations and will allow us to build further on our market-leading position in this fast-growing sector.”


Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, Chairman of AirAsia X Berhad, said: “Today’s announcement is a testament to our confidence and commitment to longer haul air travel. This is the future of our long-haul operations. The A330neo’s revolutionary new features and modifications will move our long-haul service sectors up to a higher level and allow AirAsia X to look at expanding beyond the eight-hour flight radius, such as to Europe, for example.”

Guillaume Faury, Chief Executive Officer, Airbus commented: “AirAsia X has been the pioneer of the long-haul low-cost model in the Asia-Pacific region. This new order for the A330neo and A321XLR is a true endorsement of the Airbus solution to meet mid-market demand with a combination of single-aisle and wide-body products. This powerful solution will provide AirAsia X with the lowest possible operating costs to expand its network and enable even more people to fly further than ever before.”

The new contract increases the number of A330neo aircraft ordered by AirAsia X to 78, reaffirming the carrier’s status as the largest airline customer for the type. Meanwhile, the A321XLR order sees the wider AirAsia Group strengthen its position as the world’s largest airline customer for the A320 Family, having now ordered a total of 622 aircraft.

AirAsia X currently operates a fleet of 36 A330-300s on services to points within the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East. In addition, in August, the first A330neo joined the fleet of AirAsia’s Bangkok-based long haul affiliate, AirAsia X Thailand. The aircraft is the first of two leased A330neos joining the airline’s Thai affiliate by the end of the year.

The A321XLR is the next evolutionary step from the A321LR which responds to market needs for even more range and payload, creating more value for the airlines. From 2023, it will deliver an unprecedented Xtra Long Range of up to 4,700 nm – 15% more than the A321LR and with 30% lower fuel burn per seat compared with previous generation competitor aircraft.

The A330neo is a true new-generation aircraft building on the A330’s success and leveraging on A350 XWB technology. It incorporates the highly efficient new-generation Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, and a new higher span 3D optimised wing with new Sharklets. Together these advances bring a significant reduction in fuel consumption of 25% compared with older generation competitor aircraft of a similar size. The A330 is one of the most popular widebody families ever, having received over 1,700 orders from more than 120 customers.










Airbus announces additional industrial projects in Malaysia



Airbus has also announced plans to develop further its industrial presence in Malaysia with three new initiatives. These include the expansion of Airbus’ wholly-owned maintenance facility, Sepang Aircraft Engineering (SAE); the establishment of the Airbus Malaysia Digital Initiative; and an increased participation in the Aerospace Malaysia Innovation Centre (AMIC).

The projects are covered by a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed today in Kuala Lumpur by Airbus Chief Executive Officer Guillaume Faury and AirAsia Group Bhd Executive Chairman Datuk Kamarudin Meranun. The MOA was signed in the presence of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Prime Minister of Malaysia. Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, Chief Executive Officer, AirAsia Group, who has played a key role in identifying the potential initiatives, was also present at the signing.

“These initiatives will significantly enhance our presence in Malaysia, which is one of our most important markets in Asia,” said Guillaume Faury, Chief Executive Officer, Airbus. “They will strengthen further our win-win partnerships with Malaysia, contribute to the development of the Malaysian aerospace sector and enable Airbus to benefit from the competencies and skills available in the country.”

Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, Chief Executive Officer, AirAsia Group said: “AirAsia is proud to play a leading role in advancing Malaysia’s aerospace industry, which is in line with the country’s vision to open up more aerospace hubs to support the growing aviation industry and create more high-value job opportunities for Malaysians. We will continue to work with all relevant stakeholders to achieve this objective.”

The expansion of SAE will include the construction of a new hangar capable of accommodating four single-aisle or two wide-body aircraft for heavy checks, as well as the addition of new paint and component repair shops. The facilities will be ready to incorporate the latest smart technologies, including data analysis and planning using the Airbus Skywise digital platform and automated inspection techniques.

Under the Airbus Malaysia Digital Initiative, Airbus will work with local stakeholders to develop a master plan and select and perform dedicated projects to enhance the competitiveness of the Malaysian aerospace sector through the application of new digital technologies. The initiative will also contribute to the alignment of Malaysian industrial partners with new processes and systems being introduced by Airbus across its manufacturing and supply chain.

Building on its position as a founding member of AMIC, today’s agreement will see Airbus appoint an Innovation Technical Director to support the non-profit organisation and increase its funding for joint research programmes. These will include research at AMIC into the potential production of alternative and sustainable aviation biofuels in Malaysia.

Airbus is the largest international partner for the Malaysian aerospace industry, with its sourcing and services businesses in the country now valued at some $400 million (U.S.) per year for the local economy. The company’s activities currently sustain employment for over 4,000 Malaysians in the country’s fast-growing aviation sector.

Malaysian suppliers are involved in a wide range of Airbus programmes, producing components and structures for the A320 Family, A330neo, A350 XWB, A380 and A400M. Meanwhile, SAE specialises in the maintenance, repair and overhaul of A320 Family and ATR aircraft, with customers including AirAsia Group, Malaysia Airlines, Scoot, Indigo, Jetstar Asia, VietJet and Bangkok Airways.

In addition to SAE, Airbus also operates a Customer Services Centre at Sepang offering specialised aircraft complex repairs embodiment, structure repair design and Flight Hour Services (FHS) operations.  

Malaysia is also the regional hub for Airbus Helicopters, offering customer support, MRO and training services from its facility at Subang. The facility has recently been expanded with the opening of a new state-of-the-art helicopter completion and delivery centre for the region.






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