Airbus and AirAsia have unveiled the first A330-900 (A330neo) for the AirAsia Group at the Paris Air Show. The aircraft will be delivered via lessor Avolon in the coming weeks for operation by AirAsia’s long-haul affiliate, AirAsia X Thailand. The event was attended by Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, AirAsia X Malaysia Chairman, Nadda Buranasiri, AirAsia X Group CEO, Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer, Domhnal Slattery, Avolon Chief Executive Officer and Chris Cholerton, Rolls-Royce President Civil Aerospace.
With capability to reach Europe nonstop from South-East Asia, the A330neo’s increased range and enhanced economics will bring a step-change in fuel efficiency for AirAsia’s long haul operations.
During the event, media and other guests visited the new cabin for the first time. The Thai AirAsia X A330-900 features 377 seats in a two-class configuration, comprising 12 business class and 365 economy class seats.
AirAsia X currently operates 36 A330-300 aircraft. The airline is the largest customer for the A330neo with 66 on order. In addition, the airline will acquire two aircraft on lease from Avolon this year.
The A330-900 is the larger of the two A330neo variants. The A330neo Family is the new generation A330, comprising two versions: the A330-800 and A330-900 sharing 99 percent commonality. It builds on the proven economics, versatility and reliability of the A330 Family, while reducing fuel consumption by about 25 percent per seat versus previous generation competitors and increasing range by up to 1,500 nm compared to the majority of A330s in operation.