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AirAsia X Brings The World To Asean With New Airbus A330

1st November 2008 - 15:02 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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TOULOUSE, FRANCE; 31 October 2008 - AirAsia X, the low-cost, long-haul affiliate of AirAsia, has taken delivery of its first brand-new Airbus A330 aircraft at an official ceremony held here today. Azran Osman-Rani, AirAsia X Chief Executive Officer, was joined at the Airbus Delivery Centre, by Tom Enders, President & Chief Executive Officer of Airbus - and Mark King, President of Civil Aerospace of Rolls-Royce, to celebrate the delivery which is expected to significantly reduce the airline's fuel consumption and operating costs.

Minister of Transport Malaysia Datuk Ong Tee Keat was Guest-of-Honour at the ceremony. Also present were AirAsia X Chairman Dato' Seri Kalimullah Masheerul Hassan, AirAsia Group Chief Executive Officer Dato' Sri Tony Fernandes and AirAsia Group Deputy Chief Executive Officer Datuk Kamarudin Meranun.

Today's ceremony marks the first delivery of an order AirAsia X placed for 25 Airbus A330 aircraft earlier this year, and comes just weeks after AirAsia switched its entire Malaysian operations to an all Airbus A320 fleet. AirAsia in Thailand and Indonesia are also gradually phasing out their existing Boeing 737s to be replaced with Airbus A320s. AirAsia became the largest airline customer in the world of the Airbus A320, after placing an order for a total of 225 aircraft in December 2007.

While in Toulouse, the entourage visited the assembly line of the Airbus A330 aircraft, and experienced AirAsia X's new aircraft first-hand when they were flown back to Kuala Lumpur on its ferry flight, following the ceremony.

Since launching in November 2007 AirAsia X has operated its low-cost, long-haul services to Hangzhou, China and Gold Coast, Australia with one leased A330. The airline has since experienced surging passenger demand, recording sales of over 345,000 seats after almost a year in operations. AirAsia X will start flying from Kuala Lumpur to Perth on 2 November 2008 and Kuala Lumpur to Melbourne on 12 November 2008.

Speaking at the delivery ceremony, Azran Osman-Rani said: "With the new A330, AirAsia X will be able to fly to more destinations, providing guests with the widest route network in Asia via its AirAsia connections."

He noted that on average, only about 20% of AirAsia X's inbound guests to Malaysia stay in Kuala Lumpur while the rest will go to other AirAsia destinations, both in Malaysia and the region. AirAsia operates over 100 routes covering more than 60 destinations in South East Asia and China. It will start flying to Tiruchirapalli, India from 1 December 2008.

"As well as minimizing our carbon footprint, the brand new A330 will enable us to dramatically reduce operating costs, enabling savings made on fuel consumption to be passed on to our guests through lower fares. Complemented by AirAsia's already vast network of destinations, guests on AirAsia X can get connected to over 100 routes covering more than 60 destinations in South East Asia and China. This is testament to AirAsia X's commitment to making long-haul air travel accessible and affordable to all."

The Airbus A330, which is powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines, boasts enhanced flexibility and comfort for passengers. The cabin has 383 seats, with optional premium XL seats for extra leg room, as well as the latest in-flight entertainment systems.

With a true wide-body fuselage allowing very high comfort standards, the A330-300 is able to accommodate seat and class configurations to suit the diverse customer requirements. It has a range of up to 5,650 nm / 10,500 km with a full passenger load. The spaciousness of the A330 main deck is echoed in the lower deck since the large underfloor cargo capability allows airlines to carry more revenue-generating cargo consolidated on pallets and containers loaded side-by-side, something which is not possible in competing aircraft.

Highly efficient and optimized for the medium- to extended-range market, the A330-300 offers the best balance between range and cost. The A330-300 remains the most economic means of flying on medium range routes in true long haul comfort.

Azran Osman-Rani added: "Besides our brand new fleet, AirAsia X's great cabin crew and ground staff, vast array of food selections, largest number of destinations, highest flight frequencies and unmatched On Time Guarantee allow us to offer real 5-star flying experience and challenge the services offered by even the very best of premium airlines."

 

The Shephard News Team

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