LONDON — AirAsia group chief Tony Fernandes has today hinted that there is a possibility of additional order ahead of a meeting the with Airbus at their Toulouse headquarters. He was seen describing the A321 one a “great aircraft” on his social feed and hinted to considerations of an additional order.
Two years ago at Farnborough, the carrier had agreed on an order for 100 A321neos but is still yet to take delivery of its first aircraft after delays in Airbus production.
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Fernandes again made comments again about his interest in the higher-weight A330neo over the A350 for the airline’s long-haul arm AirAsia X, he said that the “A350 was too expensive”. The airline currently has 10 Airbus A350-900’s on order and are due to start to take delivery next early next year, however, he said that “The A350 is not an aircraft we will buy. Too expensive. Fares would go up.”
Despite these comments, the order still stands but there may be good news on the horizon for Airbus after he has hinted his interested in the new A330neo variant. Airbus is currently developing a 251 toned MTOW (Maximum Takeoff Weight) variant which Fernandes says “can reach London”.
The airline currently has 66 A330neos on order, all of which are the -900 variant which currently has a 242 tone MTOW. Airbus says that the new variant will “increase range by 650nm to a total of 7,200nm.”
Despite the confirmed orders for the A330neo, Mr. Fernandes said that to make it final, the carrier must make sure that the price is correct for the performance that is promised. If the aircraft meets the required criteria for the airline that “we dreamt of and fought for” he suggested that the airline may in the future look to order more aircraft.