AIRASIA has unveiled the Airbus A330neo, the first of its new generation long-haul fleet at the Paris International Air Show.
The aircraft will be based at Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport in Thailand, facilitating growth and network expansion plans to key markets such as Australia, Japan and South Korea.
The aircraft unveiling was attended by AirAsia X chairman Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, AirAsia X Group chief executive officer Nadda Buranasiri, AirAsia deputy group chief executive officer (Airlines) Bo Lingam, Airbus chief commercial officer Christian Scherer, Rolls-Royce president (Civil Aerospace) Chris Cholerton and Avolon chief executive officer Domhnal Slattery and industry and international media guests.
Nadda said, “This is a significant milestone for the aviation industry, which will revolutionise the long-haul, value air travel market. AirAsia is thrilled to lead the way once again, as the first airline in Asia-Pacific to operate the technologically advanced, new generation A330neo aircraft.
“With 66 aircraft on direct order and two on lease, the A330neo is the future of our long-haul operations delivering an enhanced guest experience, including the latest design features and new modifications to make medium- to long-haul air travel more comfortable than ever.
“Guests will be able to see and feel the difference with more personal space, larger cabin bag storage space, ambient mood lighting, power sockets in every seat and the quietest cabin in its class.”
He added that AirAsia X would continue to focus on delivering the best value fares for medium- to long-haul air travel.
“The arrival of the A330neo increases our ability to bring new destinations into play.
“Direct flights to Europe and the United States are now possible, and we are working on many exciting network and product plans to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by this aircraft’s extended range and significant cost efficiencies, which will be announced in due course.”
Scherer said, “Operational efficiency, latest product innovations and growth are core to AirAsia and the A330neo.
“As the newest, lowest seat mile cost mid-size wide-body, the A330neo will bring a step change in fuel efficiency, and its increased range will open new opportunities for AirAsia X Thailand’s long-haul network expansion.”
Cholerton said, “Today is a special day for the Rolls-Royce team. We are thrilled to see the A330neo unveiled at the Paris Air Show with the AirAsia livery. We are excited to see the aircraft grace the skies in Asia.
“The Trent 7000 is critical to the delivery of the 14% improvement in fuel burn reduction per seat of the A330neo, compared to its predecessor the Trent 700, which is a key factor in this aircraft’s success.”
The aircraft will enter service in Bangkok early next month.