AirAsia X, a Malaysian budget airline focused on long-distance routes has finalized a reported $5-billion order with Airbus for 12 wide-body A330-900 and 30 narrow-body A321XLR aircraft. Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, CEO of the parent AirAsia Group, described the two aircraft models as "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."
The airline currently operates a fleet of 36 A330-300s to destinations in the Asia- Pacific region and Middle East.
The A330neo is the new model of the Airbus twin-engine, long-distance series, incorporating fuel-saving design aspects from the A350 XWB series, including high-efficiency Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, and a "higher-span, 3D-optimized wing with new sharklets."
The A321XLR will be an updated version of the narrow-body A321LR, offering airlines additional options for extended range and higher payloads. When it becomes commercially available in 2023, the A321XLR will have a range of up to 4,700 nm (15% further than the current A321LR, with 30% lower fuel burn per seat compared with the previous generation competitor aircraft.)
“AirAsia X has been the pioneer of the long-haul, low-cost model in the Asia-Pacific region,” commented Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury. “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.”