Last week, on August 9th, we saw AirAsia take delivery of its first A330neo aircraft. The aircraft will be operated by AirAsia’s long-haul affiliate AirAsia X Thailand. According to Airbus, the aircraft was delivered via leasing company Avolon. In fact, this is the first of two A330neos that will join the airline’s fleet by the end of this year.
The AirAsia X A330neo
This new-generation A330neo will be based out of Don Mueang International Airport in Bangkok, Thailand. According to International Flight Network, the aircraft will be deployed on the airline’s low-cost long-haul routes which include destinations in Australia, China, Japan and South Korea.
The AirAsia X Thailand A330neo will offer 377 seats in a two-class configuration. The premium class consists of 12 premium flatbeds while the economy class will have 365 seats. Economy class layout will be 3-3-3.
As a whole, AirAsia X currently operates 36 A330-300 aircraft and is currently the largest customer for the A330neo with 66 on firm order.
While there are only two classes of service, AirAsia X offers four different seating options/areas on its A330neo aircraft:
- ‘Premium Flatbeds’,
- ‘Hot Seats’ with more legroom,
- A ‘Quiet Zone’
- Standard economy seats.
The A330neo is an update of the popular A330, updated with A350 XWB technology. The aircraft is powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, offering 25% lower fuel burn per seat than previous generation competitors. Furthermore, the A330neo offers the Airbus Airspace cabin, which claims to have more personal space and the latest generation of in-flight entertainment system and connectivity.
While operated by AirAsia X Thailand, the aircraft comes as a lease through the leasing company Avolon.
AirAsia took the low-cost/budget carrier model pioneered by Ryanair and Southwest and applied it to the Southeast Asia region. Headquartered in Malaysia, the AirAsia brand subdivides into a number of other airlines registered in countries where bases exist:
- AirAsia India
- AirAsia Japan
- Indonesia AirAsia
- Philippines AirAsia
- Thai AirAsia
All airlines of the AirAsia Group exclusively operate Airbus aircraft including the A320 family and A330 aircraft. Furthermore, the Group has additional A320neo, A321neo and A330neo planes on order.
According to its website, Avolon has a “leading position in the global aircraft leasing industry”. If held up to the airline operators themselves, Avolon would rival some of the largest fleets. The leasing company has 481 aircraft in its ownership, with hundreds more on order.
Avolon owns and manages the entire spectrum of commercial aircraft: Both narrowbody and widebody aircraft from both Boeing and Airbus – as old as the Boeing 757 and as new as the Airbus A350.
In fact, the company is actually under the ownership of Bohai Leasing, a company that trades on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. Bohai owns a portfolio of transportation and infrastructure asset leasing companies principally focused on aircraft and container leasing.
Have you ever taken a flight with AirAsia X? We’d love to hear what it was like! Leave a comment and share your experience.