Toulouse - Tan Fernandes, the boss of Malaysian low-cost carrier, is about to decide whether AirAsia X sticks to its order for 66 Airbus A330-900s, orders more aircraft or drops the deal. Fernandes arrived in Toulouse on July 3 for negotiations.
We have ordered the 330 but to finally confirm it we must make sure price is right. Performance is right. The engine is right. PDP (Pre-delivery payments) is right. And the performance of the aircraft is right. If the A330-900 is the plane we dreamt of, we can order more,tweeted Fernandes.
The first A330neo is due to be launched in December 2018 with Air Asia X. In March, Airbus gave the go-ahead for a version of the A330neo that can fly 648 nautical miles (1,200 kilometers) more in 2020 with a maximum take-off mass of 251 tons, compared to the base model. Airbus developed the MTOW option on request from AirAsia X.
Four percent more maximum take-off weight means that the A330-900, as a 251-ton aircraft, could fly 7200 nautical miles (13,334 kilometers) at a time, enough to serve on the Kuala Lumpur - London route for AirAsia X.
Weeks ahead of the Farnborough Air Show, the order backlog of the A330neo has stalled on 214 aircraft. Twenty-Eight A330neo cannot be delivered to Iran Air for the time being because of new US sanctions. AirAsia X is now the key customer for the re-engineered model.
We ordered 66 A330neo, in fact, we need more,said Fernandes. He also hinted to order more A321neo and its long-range version A321LR.
Airbus has recently lost two orders from Hawaiian Airlines for the A330-800 and from American for the A350-900. Both airlines have switched to the Boeing 787. The boss of AirAsia X had brought the 787-10 and the A350-900 as alternatives to the A330neo at the end of 2017 but later rejected a switch to the A350 because of the price.