KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 6 (NNN-Bernama) — AirAsia Group has reaffirmed its commitment to transform its present A320 aircraft fleet to the higher-capacity, more fuel-efficient A321neo with the signing of an amendment agreement with Airbus S.A.S.
In a statement, the airlines said it will convert its remaining A320 aircraft orders to the A321neo.
With the conversion of its remaining 13 A320 undelivered aircraft to the A321neo, AirAsia now has a total order of 362 A321neo aircraft that will be allocated based on demand among the group’s airlines, with deliveries set to be up until 2035.
AirAsia received its first A321neo aircraft in November 2019 and currently has four A321neo in service.
The group has a total fleet size of 211 aircraft, comprising the A320 (169 aircraft), A320neo (38 aircraft) and A321neo (four aircraft).
AirAsia Group president (Airlines) Bo Lingam said a full A321neo fleet conversion will further solidify the airlines’ lowest cost base and lean cost structure.
“The A321neo is a leader in its category and it will enable AirAsia to serve the demand across our network with significant operational efficiencies, with more than 10 per cent fuel savings.
“The aircraft also features an additional 50 seats and extra cargo space, and will allow us to further reduce our cost per Available Seat Kilometre (ASK) across the group, which will be passed on as lower airfares for our guests,” said Lingam.
Meanwhile, AirAsia Group chief executive officer Tony Fernandes said with the gradual easing of travel restrictions and resumption of freight and cargo activities in all of its key markets, the group needs to ensure that its fleet is cost- and fuel-efficient and highly-optimised for airline operations and its logistics venture, Teleport.
“Teleport is experiencing significant growth in line with an overwhelming demand for air freight and cargo services, which is back to pre-pandemic performance and growing faster than before.
“We are expanding Teleport’s delivery and digital cargo capabilities to prepare for strong regional expansion as soon as travel restrictions ease and international borders reopen,” he added.
Meanwhile, Airbus chief commercial officer and head of Airbus International, Christian Scherer, said the agreement is an endorsement of the A321neo as the world’s most efficient and popular single-aisle aircraft.
“It’s also an example of how we at Airbus are working together with our customers to find solutions to adapt to the impact of the pandemic.
“We are encouraged to see traffic rebound around the world as the travel restrictions ease, and AirAsia will be well equipped to benefit from the rebound,” he added.