AirAsia X, the long haul unit of the AirAsia Group, has finalised a firm order with Airbus for an additional 12 A330-900 and 30 A321XLR aircraft. Almost all of the world's A321 deliveries come from the Airbus site in Hamburg.

The contract was signed by Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, Chairman, AirAsia X Berhad and Guillaume Faury, Chief Executive Officer, Airbus in Kuala Lumpur, in the presence of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Guillaume Faury, Chief Executive Officer, Airbus commented: “AirAsia X has been the pioneer of the long haul low cost model in the Asia-Pacific region. This new order for the A330neo and A321XLR is a true endorsement of the Airbus solution to meet mid-market demand with a combination of single aisle and widebody products.”

The new contract increases the number of A330neo aircraft ordered by AirAsia X to 78, reaffirming the carrier’s status as the largest airline customer for the type. Meanwhile, the A321XLR order sees the wider AirAsia Group strengthen its position as the world’s largest airline customer for the A320 Family, having now ordered a total of 622 aircraft. AirAsia X currently operates a fleet of 36 A330-300s on services to points within the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East. In addition, in August the first A330neo joined the fleet of AirAsia’s Bangkok-based long haul affiliate, AirAsia X Thailand. The aircraft is the first of two leased A330neos joining the airline’s Thai affiliate by the end of the year.    

The A321XLR is the next evolutionary step from the A321LR which responds to market needs for even more range and payload, creating more value for the airlines. From 2023, it will deliver an unprecedented Xtra Long Range of up to 4,700nm – 15 percent more than the A321LR and with 30 percent lower fuel burn per seat compared with previous generation competitor aircraft.