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AirAsia X


AirAsia X buys 10 Airbus planes, but Britain plans jeopardised

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Mar 27, 2008

KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysian long-haul budget airline AirAsia X on Thursday signed a deal to buy 10 more Airbus A330-300 aircraft, but said plane shortages have jeopardised plans to fly to Britain by year-end.

The 10 new aircraft with a list price of 2.1 billion dollars will bring the carrier's total fleet to 25 aircraft, after it earlier signed an order for 15 of the planes.

"With the Airbus A330-300, our strategy is to focus on two core markets ... which is Australia and China," AirAsia X chief executive officer Azran Osman Rani said.

The additional aircraft will be delivered over the next five years, but currently it is operating its inaugural routes to China and Australia's Gold Coast on a leased A330.

Azran said the carrier plans to fly to more Australian and Chinese cities by the fourth quarter of 2008 upon delivery of the A330s and has plans to launch its services in the lucrative Indian market.

However, he said that plans to launch flights to Britain in the fourth quarter of 2008 were now "subject to aircraft availability."

"We are out in the market to look for an extra long-range aircraft such as the A340 to enable us to provide a direct service to the UK if we can secure that aircraft," he said.

"Right now, the prices are a bit high because there's a global airline shortage," he said.

"We cannot make any promises in terms of when we can start the UK flights. All we can say is that we want to. We've got government approval for the UK. We've got airport support. Everyone's ready to receive us except the plane."

AirAsia X has said it will eventually fly to Europe, Japan and the Middle East.

An affiliate of regional lowcost carrier AirAsia and Virgin Blue, the carrier was launched in January 2007. AirAsia and AirAsia X share common shareholders, including AirAsia founder and CEO Tony Fernandes.

Richard Branson's Virgin Group has taken a 20 percent stake in the airline and the British billionaire has vowed to ensure that the project turns a profit.

Malaysian long-haul budget airline pioneer AirAsia X said Tuesday it will buy 10 more Airbus A330-300 aircraft for 2.1 billion dollars, bringing its fleet to a total of 25 aircraft.

The carrier had previously signed an order with Airbus for 15 of the aircraft.

Azran Osman Rani, chief executive officer of AirAsia X, told AFP that a signing ceremony to confirm the purchase of the 10 additional A330s would be held on Thursday.

"The list price for the 10 new aircraft is 2.1 billion dollars. With this firm order, the total number of A330 aircraft in our fleet will be 25," he said.

On future fleet expansion plans, Azran said the airline was eyeing the "next generation aircraft of Airbus 350-900 and the Boeing 787-9."

AirAsia X has began flying to Australia's Gold Coast and to China using a leased A330.

It has plans to launch flights to Britain in the fourth quarter of 2008 after acquiring additional aircraft and will eventually extend to Europe, Japan and the Middle East, with fares on average 50 percent lower than full-service carriers.

AirAsia X, an affiliate of AirAsia and Virgin Blue, was launched in January 2007. AirAsia and AirAsia X share common shareholders, including AirAsia founder and chief Tony Fernandes.

Richard Branson's Virgin Group has taken a 20 percent stake in the airline and the British billionaire has vowed to ensure that the project turns a profit.

Malaysian long-haul budget airline pioneer AirAsia X said Tuesday it will buy 10 more Airbus A330-300 aircraft for 2.1 billion dollars, bringing its fleet to a total of 25 aircraft.

The carrier had previously signed an order with Airbus for 15 of the aircraft.

Azran Osman Rani, chief executive officer of AirAsia X, told AFP that a signing ceremony to confirm the purchase of the 10 additional A330s would be held on Thursday.

"The list price for the 10 new aircraft is 2.1 billion dollars. With this firm order, the total number of A330 aircraft in our fleet will be 25," he said.

On future fleet expansion plans, Azran said the airline was eyeing the "next generation aircraft of Airbus 350-900 and the Boeing 787-9."

AirAsia X has began flying to Australia's Gold Coast and to China using a leased A330.

It has plans to launch flights to Britain in the fourth quarter of 2008 after acquiring additional aircraft and will eventually extend to Europe, Japan and the Middle East, with fares on average 50 percent lower than full-service carriers.

AirAsia X, an affiliate of AirAsia and Virgin Blue, was launched in January 2007. AirAsia and AirAsia X share common shareholders, including AirAsia founder and chief Tony Fernandes.

Richard Branson's Virgin Group has taken a 20 percent stake in the airline and the British billionaire has vowed to ensure that the project turns a profit.

Malaysian long-haul budget airline pioneer AirAsia X said Tuesday it will buy 10 more Airbus A330-300 aircraft for 2.1 billion dollars, bringing its fleet to a total of 25 aircraft.

The carrier had previously signed an order with Airbus for 15 of the aircraft.

Azran Osman Rani, chief executive officer of AirAsia X, told AFP that a signing ceremony to confirm the purchase of the 10 additional A330s would be held on Thursday.

"The list price for the 10 new aircraft is 2.1 billion dollars. With this firm order, the total number of A330 aircraft in our fleet will be 25," he said.

On future fleet expansion plans, Azran said the airline was eyeing the "next generation aircraft of Airbus 350-900 and the Boeing 787-9."

AirAsia X has began flying to Australia's Gold Coast and to China using a leased A330.

It has plans to launch flights to Britain in the fourth quarter of 2008 after acquiring additional aircraft and will eventually extend to Europe, Japan and the Middle East, with fares on average 50 percent lower than full-service carriers.

AirAsia X, an affiliate of AirAsia and Virgin Blue, was launched in January 2007. AirAsia and AirAsia X share common shareholders, including AirAsia founder and chief Tony Fernandes.

Richard Branson's Virgin Group has taken a 20 percent stake in the airline and the British billionaire has vowed to ensure that the project turns a profit.

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AirAsia X buys 10 Airbus planes, but Britain plans jeopardised
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