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Wednesday June 20, 2007

FAX orders its Airbuses, ready to roll ... er, fly in Sept


PARIS: Fly Asian Xpress Sdn Bhd (FAX) has put in a firm order for 15 A330-300 aircraft worth US$2.6bil (RM9.1bil). 

FAX chairman Datuk Kalimullah Hassan signed the agreement, which included the option of purchasing 10 more, here where the Paris Air Show kicked off on Monday. 

Previously, AirAsiaX had ordered 10 aircraft, with the option of purchasing five more. 

FAX director Datuk Tony Fernandes said the target was for AirAsiaX, FAX's low-cost long-haul airline, to have a fleet of 25 A330-300 in five years, carrying 10 million passengers a year. 

This combination, he said, would also help bring down fares by as much as 60% -- for example, he claimed the return fare between London’s Stanstad,and Kuala Lumpur could be as low as US$300 (RM1,050). 

On the airline's destinations, Fernandes said these had been narrowed down to Europe, China and Australia, with possible technical stops in the Middle East. 

AirAsiaX will begin operation in September on a leased aircraft. The new A330s will be delivered from September next year up to 2013. 

Fernandes said there would be about 400 seats on the A330, which would set a new benchmark for seat cost per km, bringing it down further to 1.9 sen, the lowest in the market.

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