DALLAS — As part of its ongoing commitment to expanding its footprint in Indonesia, AirAsia Aviation Group intends to fly its Airbus A330neo aircraft for its medium- and long-haul flights.
According to AirAsia Aviation CEO Bo Lingam, the airline group hopes to introduce the widebodies this year, allowing its Indonesian subsidiary to fly to destinations in Japan, South Korea, China, and India.
The Airbus A330neo is a new-generation widebody aircraft family that offers improved cabin comfort, greater range, and new modifications like composite Sharklet wingtips that produce aerodynamic improvements and reduced fuel burn.
The A330neo is powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines.
A320 Fleet Ramp-up
The airline CEO added that Indonesia AirAsia (QZ) will nearly double its fleet size this year, with 32 A320s in operation, up from the current fleet of 17 jets. He was speaking at a company visit to Jakarta, where QZ is based.
The upcoming QZ aircraft orders would solidify the carrier’s status as one of the largest customers for the A330neo and strengthen AirAsia Group’s position as the world’s largest customer for the A320 Family.
These remarks mirror similar ones made on January 18, by Capital A CEO Tony Fernandes, who revealed plans to base widebodies in the state of Johor in southern Malaysia and fly them to Australia, Japan, and South Korea. AirAsia Aviation’s parent firm is Capital A.
The Airbus A330s currently fly with AirAsia X (D7), the group’s medium-haul, low-cost unit. Since emerging from restructuring, the carrier has been bringing its A330s back into service.
“Not only does this new generation aircraft deliver significant cost benefits which we can pass on to our guests, in the form of great value fares, but it also unlocks exciting network expansion opportunities. As a result, this enhances the guest experience with numerous modifications and features.” Remarked AirAsia X Group CEO Nadda Buranasiri during the first purchase by the airline.
AirAsia last operated A330s to and from Indonesia about four years ago, under the Indonesia AirAsia X brand. The unit first launched operations in 2014 before being shuttered in 2019.
Commitment to Indonesia
Fernandes, who accompanied Lingam in Indonesia, also said that the group remains committed to its Indonesian business, stressing that QZ “always prioritizes its commitment to Indonesia.”
Lingam further added, “Our international operations are very strong in Indonesia, having carried nearly 5 million passengers before COVID-19, which represents 30% of international tourists arriving in the country. We have created nearly two thousand jobs in Indonesia and generated over US$3bn in tourism revenue, which has strong growth potential this year, following a strong post-Covid-19 surge in travel demand.”
Indonesia AirAsia carried 3.2 million passengers in 2022, four times as many as it did in 2021, according to its full-year operational data. The carrier’s capacity increased by three times, and traffic increased by four times.
Featured image: Air Asia X 9M-XXP Airbus A330-300 Manny Pacquiao Livery. Photo: Christian Winter/Airways