by PRIYA VASU / pic by TMR FILE
AIRASIA Group Bhd has reaffirmed its commitment to transform its present mainly-A320 aircraft fleet to the higher-capacity, more fuel-efficient 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 today AAGB said the contract marked AirAsia’s 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,” said AAGB.
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.
Bo Lingam, President (Airlines) of AirAsia Group said, AAGB has always been in close engagement with Airbus and look forward to a full A321neo fleet conversion that will further solidify our lowest cost base and lean cost structure.
“The A321neo will revolutionise the flying experience for our guests as we accelerate our business to meet a resurgence in air travel post-Covid-19. The A321neo is a leader in its category and it will enable AirAsia to serve the demand across our network with significant operational efficiencies, with more than 10% fuel savings,” said Lingam.
The A321neos will eventually replace the older A320s, which will lead to significant sustainability benefits, where the fuel savings translate into some 5,000 tonnes less carbon dioxide (CO2) emission per aircraft per year, in addition to the double-digit reduction in nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions and reduced engine noise.
“With the gradual easing of travel restrictions and resumption of freight and cargo activities in all of our key markets, we need 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.
“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,” said Tony Fernandes, CEO of AAGB.