AirAsia X has signed a firm order for 10 Airbus A350 XWB aircraft.
The low cost, long haul airlinehas selected the A350-900 variant for its fleet, which will be configured to seat 425 guests in a two-class layout.
AirAsia Group CEO Dato’ Sri Tony Fernandes said, “Business is all about timing and long-term strategy. At AirAsia we have always planned for the long term. By buying the Airbus A350, AirAsia and AirAsia X have now got its strategy fixed all the way to 2020. The vision of creating the world’s first long-haul and short-haul low cost airline is complete and we are all very excited.”
Valued at a list price of US$ 2.2 billion, the deal comes with an option of another 5 A350 aircraft. Deliveries are scheduled between 2016 and 2018, which will further complement AirAsia X’s fleet of A330s. The airline has ordered 25 A330s that are due to be delivered through 2015, of which 2 aircraft have delivered so far since October 2008.
The purchase indicates AirAsia X’s ambition to fly further afield and to serve more destinations than it currently serves that include London (UK), Melbourne, Perth and Gold Coast (Australia) and Tianjin and Hangzhou (China).
Fernandes who is also Director and Founder of AirAsia X added, “Under the current great uncertainties in the global economy where legacy airlines are cutting routes and grounding staff and aircraft, AirAsia and AirAsia X is determined to fulfil and realize our potential. The economic downturn presents AirAsia as Asia’s largest low cost carrier, an unprecedented opportunity to gain market share with our low-fare, high-quality business model.”
AirAsia X CEO Azran Osman-Rani said, “We believe the A350 aircraft will be an industry game-changer that will allow us to dramatically operate with unprecedented unit costs for long-haul flights to Europe and North America, opening up new tourism markets and exciting destinations.”
The A350 XWB Family is Airbus’ response to Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner and widespread market demand for a series of highly efficient medium-capacity long-range wide-body aircraft. With a range of up to 8,300 nm / 15,400 km, it is available in three basic passenger versions.
The A350 XWB Family of aircraft will be powered by two new generation Rolls Royce Trent XWB engines.