Airbus might expect some turbulent days based on AirAsia X current order of 66 modern Airbus A330neo aircraft. CEO Tony Fernandes arrived in Toulouse, France, earlier this week, to announce if the Malaysian-based airline will keep their current order, increase it, or even cancel it.
“We have ordered the 330 but to finally confirm it we must make sure price is right. Performance is right. Engine is right. PDP is right.” he said. “And performance of the 330 251-tonne is right. If right, (it is) the plane we dreamt of and fought for and then we can order more. Or else.”
With several orders lost to Airbus’ competitor Boeing, the decision AirAsia X makes regarding its A330neo order will have a huge influence on the future of the Airbus A330neo program. Having 214 booked orders for the new version of the Airbus A330, the loss of AirAsia X’s 66 orders would be a hard punch.
If everything goes in Airbus’ favor, the first AirAsia X A330neo might be delivered by the end of 2018. However, Airbus has developed an entire new version of the Airbus A330neo, as wished by AirAsia X, which could be delivered by the year of 2020. Providing a take-off mass of 251t, the range was extended by an additional 1200 kilometres in comparison to the current basic model. The new version would be capable of operating a route between Kuala Lumpur and London.
But CEO Fernandes, who is simultaneously the CEO of AirAsia, announced that the low-cost carrier needs even more planes than planned. A potential new order could consist of Airbus A321neo jets and the long-range version Airbus A321neoLR. Fernandes believes, the Airbus A321neo is a “great plane”, and it has already ordered by AirAsia. The carrier’s existing order for that type consists of 100 A321neo jets and was placed in 2016.
Featured Image by Alexander Zur/Aeronautics