(07 Oct 2021) AirAsia has signed an amendment agreement with Airbus to convert its remaining A320 aircraft orders to the higher-capacity, more fuel-efficient A321neo.
Seating up to 236 passengers in a single class layout, the A321neo will enable AirAsia to increase capacity while benefiting from significantly lower operating costs.
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.
AirAsia received its first A321neo in November 2019 and today has 4 A321neo in service. Overall, the group has a fleet of 211 aircraft comprising 169 A320, 38 A320neo and 4 A321neo aircraft.
Bo Lingam, President (Airlines) of AirAsia Group said, “We have always been in close engagement with Airbus, and we 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-COVID19.
“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. The A321neo also includes an additional 50 seats and extra cargo space, and will allow us to further reduce our cost per Available Seat Kilometre (ASK) across the group, which will be passed on as lower air fares for our guests.”
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.
Tony Fernandes, CEO of AirAsia Group, said, “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. Teleport is experiencing significant growth in line with overwhelming demand for air freight and cargo services, back to pre-pandemic performance and growing faster than before. 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.”