AirAsia, Airbus to rework A320 orders for A321neos

by PRIYA VASU / pic source:

AIRASIA Group Bhd is proceeding with the transformation of its present mainly-A320 aircraft fleet to the higher-capacity, more fuel-efficient A321neo with the signing of an amendment agreement with Airbus SAS in which AirAsia will convert its remaining A320 aircraft orders to the A321neo.

In a statement released yesterday, AirAsia stated 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,” AirAsia noted.

AirAsia received its first A321neo in November 2019 and currently has a total of four A321neo in service. At present, the group has a total fleet of 211 aircraft comprising 169 A320, 38 A320neo and four A321neo aircraft.

AirAsia president (airlines) Bo Lingam said the low-cost carrier has been in close engagement with Airbus and looks forward to a full A321neo fleet conversion that will further solidify the group’s 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,” Lingam stated.

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 CO2 emission per aircraft per year, in addition to the double-digit reduction in 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 our fleet is cost- and fuel-efficient and highly-optimised for our airline operations and 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 AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes.

He added during the downtime in flying, AirAsia was transformed into a one-stop travel and lifestyle digital travel platform, catering for much more than just air travel.

“Our Super App, Teleport and BigPay are equally important to complete our ecosystem. They work in tandem symbiotically, to meet increasing demand in the e-commerce and distribution space.

“From e-money and international remittance to micro-insurance and budgeting, BigPay has been successful in providing a wide range of regulated financial products to become a one-stop solution for our customers’ financial needs,” he added.