MANILA, Philippines – Regional budget carrier AirAsia has confirmed its order of another 100 new Airbus A320 aircraft for delivery until 2021, of which 3 in the 2013 deliveries will be allocated for its Philippine unit.
In a statement on Friday, December 14, AirAsia said this new order will bring its fleet to 475 narrow bodied, single aisle aircraft, all from Airbus. This latest order has affirmed AirAsia’s position as the largest A320 Family customer in the world.
It said this new order is part of its plans to “accelerate its growth in its core markets Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia followed by its new markets Japan and the Philippines.”
The new batch of 100 Airbus A320s orders consist of 36 A320s with the Current Engine Option (CEO) and 64 A320s with the New Engine Option (NEO).
For the 2013 deliveries, the Malaysia unit was allocated 10 aircraft, Thailand 8, Indonesia 9, Philippines 3, and Japan 4.
“The new order from Airbus will pave the way for Philippine’s AirAsia expansion plans,” said Maan Hontiveros, Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia Inc., a 60-40 partnership between Filipino and Malaysian business groups.
“We are set to launch two new international routes from Clark International Airport to Singapore and to Taipei this December, and this early our guests can look forward to even more exciting routes from AirAsia as we add connectivity to other parts of Asia as well as increase frequency to existing routes starting next year making air transport via Clark more exciting than ever,” she added.
The order was announced during a visit by British Prime Minister David Cameron to the Airbus wing manufacturing facility at Broughton in the United Kingdom, where Cameron witnessed the signing of documents by Tony Fernandes, Group Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia, and Fabrice Brégier, President and CEO of Airbus.
Aircraft manufacturers Airbus and Boeing have been pursuing more orders from airlines in Asia where passenger traffic, especially among low-cost carriers, has been soaring.
Recently, legacy carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) has placed orders with Boeing and Airbus.
French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has even cited PAL’s Boeing orders during his October state visit in Manila, while a UK Member of Parliament Hugo Swire has cited PAL’s Airbus orders in efforts to mount direct long-haul flights between London and Manila. – Rappler.com
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