An Airbus supplied photo of an AirAsia X A330-300 from 2008.

An order by AirAsia X for a further 25 Airbus A330-300s signed in Paris overnight includes the new extended range version for high payload flights non-stop to western European cities from Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok as well as one new one stop flights to the US.

The order marks a new expansionary phase for AirAsia X (the longer haul arm of the single aisle A320 services flown by AirAsia franchises) as well as support for new versions of the established A330 family to compete with Boeing’s 787 family over both longer and shorter or regional ranges.

This is part of what Airbus is saying:

AirAsia X, the long haul affiliate of the AirAsia Group, has placed a firm order with Airbus for 25 more A330-300s. The contract is the largest A330 order received by Airbus in a single purchase agreement and increases the carrier’s total firm orders for the type to 51. These will be supplemented by another six A330-300s leased from International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC).

AirAsia X will start taking delivery of its newly-ordered A330-300s in 2015 as it begins a major expansion of its network across the Asia-Pacific region. The new order includes the latest extended range versions of the A330-300, providing the carrier with the ability to offer non-stop service to destinations in Europe or one-stop service to the US.

Tan Sri’ Tony Fernandes, Co-Founder and Director of AirAsia X said, “This order stamps our firm intent to dominate the long-haul, low cost carrier space and marks the next phase in our development to be the undisputed global market leader. Our commitment would allow us to remain as the youngest wide body fleet age in the region at under five years throughout 2019, with corresponding competitive fuel efficiency, reliability and cabin comfort benefits.”

“The aircraft orders would further cater to our expansion plans in Malaysia, and the proposed new Thai AirAsia X hub as well as other long-haul ventures planned across Asia. The developments will complement the AirAsia Group’s long-term vision of developing its presence in key markets in Asia and strengthen the connectivity between long-haul and short-haul low-cost network.”

“AirAsia X has proven that it is possible to build a highly successful low cost long haul business,” said Fabrice Brégier President and CEO, Airbus. “And the A330 is the perfect platform for such operations, with the lowest operating costs, true long range flying capability and a proven track record of exceptional technical reliability. We look forward to working with AirAsia X as it continues to innovate in the low cost long haul market.”

AirAsia X flies to Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and the Gold Coast from its major low fare hub at Kuala Lumpur. It also holds orders for 10 Airbus A350-900s.

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