AirAsia is one of the world’s most ambitious airlines, they have over 165 destinations serving 25 countries and is very aggressive in its growth. This is magnified by the airline ordering 249 planes from Airbus to expand its operations across Asia and the world.
As we have revealed in the previous article, AirAsia uses the franchise model to partner up with different other airline companies and firms in various Southeast Asian countries to expand its domestic business presence. AirAsia has been highly successful in the low-cost short-haul Airline range focusing on short turnarounds, plenty of added payable extras and routes to many popular tourist destinations.
One of their other business arms, AirAsia X, focuses on international long-haul low-cost travel, from South Australia to the United States and North Asia to beyond. It is this area of the business that they’re focusing on expanding, planning new routes for 2019.
AirAsia have excitedly announced that they are ordering 100 new Airbus A330neos for their AirAsia X fleet. They originally had 66 planes on order from Airbus, but decided to double down the purchase order and acquire an additional 33 more planes (worth $30 billion), as announced yesterday at the Farnborough Air Show in the UK. To put this in perspective, AirAsia X currently only has a fleet of 22 A330 jets. They are increasing their fleet size by a factor of x5.
“Long-haul low-cost is something we strongly believe in, and this order shows our confidence in the AirAsia X model. 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 Co-Founder and AirAsia X Group Chief Executive Officer Datuk Kamarudin Meranun
The Airbus A330 line of aircraft has been Airbus’s most popular plane this year with over 250 orders (and close to 2000 orders over its lifetime since 2011). With a capacity of 287 seats in one class configuration and a range of 6550 nautical miles (12,130 km, or Bangkok to Europe), it is the perfect ‘middle of the market’ option that its competitors lack (Boeing will be releasing a Boeing 797 later this year as an answer to Airbus). With the new jets having such a large new range we should expect to see AirAsia X offering cheap fares between Europe and Asia by 2019. AirAsia X hub is based out of Kuala Lumpur Airport in Malaysia.
“We are extremely pleased to announce this important agreement with AirAsia X. This is the strongest possible endorsement for the unbeatable operating economics, performance and cost-effectiveness that the A330neo brings to the market in its size category. We look forward to working with AirAsia X on the entry into service of this great aircraft with the carrier as it expands its route network to more destinations around the world.” – Eric Schulz, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer
The first plane should be delivered to in AirAsia X by April 2019.