AirAsia reaffirms commitment for fleet migration to Airbus A321neo


SEPANG: AirAsia Group Bhd has reaffirmed its commitment to transform its present mainly-A320 aircraft fleet to A321neo with the signing of an amendment agreement with Airbus S.A.S, in which AirAsia will convert its remaining A320 aircraft orders to the A321neo.

In a statement Wednesday, the budget carrier said the contract marked its commitment to purchase the largest model in the best-selling A320 Family.

“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 its airlines within the group, with deliveries up until 2035, as agreed between AirAsia and Airbus,” it said.

AirAsia received its first A321neo in November 2019 and currently has a total of 4 A321neo in service.

At present, the group has a total fleet size of 211 aircraft comprising 169 A320, 38 A320neo and 4 A321neo aircraft.

CEO Tan Sri 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 needed to make sure that our fleet is cost- and fuel-efficient and highly-optimised for our airline operations, as well as for our logistics venture, Teleport.

“Teleport is experiencing significant growth in line with overwhelming demand for air freight and cargo services, 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 said.

“During the downtime in flying, we have turned AirAsia from one of Asia’s leading airline brands into a one stop travel and lifestyle digital travel platform, catering for much more than just air travel.

“With our huge passenger volume, the impending improvement in travel demand will provide an added boost to the airasia Super App, as well as our fintech and digital payment service, BigPay,” Fernandes said, adding that its Super App, Teleport and BigPay were equally important to complete its ecosystem.

Airbus chief commercial officer and head of Airbus International Christian Scherer said: "We are pleased to reach this agreement with our long-standing partner AirAsia. It's another 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 have worked together with our customers to find solutions to adapt to the impact of the pandemic,” he said.

“We are encouraged to see traffic rebound around the world as the travel restrictions ease. AirAsia will be well equipped to benefit from the rebound that will also surely come in Asia, thanks to the combination of pent-up demand, the efficiency of its Airbus fleet and its unique brand."

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