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Saturday October 31, 2009

AirAsia defers delivery of 8 Airbus A320s

KUALA LUMPUR: Budget carrier AirAsia said yesterday it will defer delivery of another eight Airbus A320 aircraft by four years to 2015 because of infrastructure constraints at its Kuala Lumpur air terminal.

Until a new Low-Cost Carrier Terminal was constructed, the current overcrowded budget terminal would not be able to accommodate AirAsia’s fleet expansion plans, it said.

“AirAsia foresees infrastructural constraints with the current airport facilities,” the airline said in a statement. AirAsia in August cited a similar reason when it announced it would defer receiving eight A320 aircraft due in 2010 by four years.

The decision to further scale down on deliveries would allow AirAsia to avoid the costs of having idle or under-utilised aircraft, it said.

AirAsia entered into a purchase agreement with Airbus in 2005 to acquire 175 Airbus A320 aircraft, with a delivery schedule running from December 2005 to October 2014.

In February, the Government vetoed AirAsia’s ambitious plan to build its own airport far from the KL International Airport (KLIA).

AirAsia had been hoping to improve standards and lower operational costs by abandoning the shabby and overcrowded low-cost terminal next to the main international airport. — AFP

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