A321LR joins AirAsia's Airbus order book

Capital A chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes

SEPANG: AirAsia Group Bhd has restructured its massive aircraft order book from Airbus, said Capital A chief executive officer (CEO) Tan Sri Tony Fernandes.

He said out of 362 A321neo (new engine option) orders, 36 have been converted to A321LR (long-range).

The A321LR aircraft is slated to be delivered starting in 2025, Fernandes said, adding that the move enables the company to expand its narrow-body fleet with the introduction of the A321XLR (extra long-range) and A321LR, which would gradually replace the low-cost airlines’ workhorse A320.

"These new specification aircraft will enable greater flexibility on existing short to medium-haul routes and network expansion to secondary markets such as North Asia, Australia and Central Asia from Southeast Asia.

"I expect AirAsia to start flying to Kenya, Africa by year-end,” he told the media during Airbus’ leadership visit to AirAsia's corporate headquarters here today.

Also present was the newly appointed Airbus Commercial Aircraft business CEO, Christian Scherer, who was appointed in January 2024.

Fernandes said AirAsia would resume its Airbus A321neo deliveries in line with strong forecast demand, starting with the first post-pandemic delivery expected in June and another 24 aircraft throughout the year.

He said the company’s commitment to the European multinational aerospace company never faltered, even through the pandemic.

"As one of their biggest customers, we have an order book of 647 aeroplanes consisting of 612 A320 Family and 35 A330 Family aircraft, 36 A321LRs, 326 A321neos, 20 A321XLRs and 15 A330neos to be delivered over the next decade,” Fernandes said.

On the company’s outlook, he is optimistic that AirAsia would be one of the largest operators of this new longer-range, fuel-efficient, narrow-body specification Airbus aircraft.

"With our wide-body Airbus A330 fleet, including the introduction of A330neo, we are also looking to expand our medium to long-haul network to the European continent.

"The network expansion is to cities like London, Paris, Amsterdam, Bratislava, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Africa (Cairo, Nairobi, Cape Town), East Coast North America (New York, Miami, Toronto) via Europe and West Coast North America (San Francisco, Los Angeles, Vancouver) via Japan,” Fernandes said. - Bernama

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