Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Malaysian low-cost operators AirAsia has taken delivery of its first Airbus A321neo jet with a ceremony held at the manufacturer's Hamburg delivery center on Nov. 20.
The aircraft carried out a ferry flight from Hamburg to Kuala Lumpur with more than 30 reporters onboard from the Southeast Asian countries as well as AirAsia personnel.
The aircraft is the first copy from a massive order package of 353 A321neo jets.
We could not be more thrilled that it will be the new backbone of our operations across the AirAsia Group. With the 25% increase capacity and 10% reduction in cost per seat, the A321neo will enable us to maintain low fares so 'Everyone Can Fly!,
Chief executive Veranita Yosephine said.
This new generation aircraft delivers significant capacity and cost benefits which we can pass on to our guests in the form of great value fares and it also unlocks exciting network expansion opportunities, allowing us to fly the aircraft for an additional one and a half hours longer.
Air Asia's A321neo is configured to accommodate up to 236 passengers in an all-economy cabin layout. This is 50 seats more than the airline's current Airbus A320neos. The plane also offers 40% more cargo space.
The operator will use the aircraft for flights to the destinations in the Asia-Pacific region such as Bangkok, Kuching, Kota Kinabalu, Shenzhen, and Singapore.
Another remarkable thing with this delivery that AirAsia's first A321neo registered 9M-VAA comes in a special funky color scheme rather than the classic corporate livery.
AirAsia Malaysia currently operates 97 Airbus Family jets (67 A320-200, 29 A320neo, and one A321neo). This number reaches 234 together with the airline's Thailand, Indonesia, India, Japan, and the Philippines branches.