The AirAsia Group reaffirmed its commitment to transform its present mainly A320 aircraft fleet to higher-capacity, more fuel-efficient A321neos.
In a statement Wednesday, Oct. 6, Airasia said it signed an amendment agreement with Airbus S.A.S to convert its remaining A320 aircraft orders to the A321neo.
With the conversion of its remaining thirteen A320 undelivered aircraft to the A321neo, AirAsia now has a total order of 362 A321neo aircraft that will be allocated based on demand among its airlines within the group.
The deliveries will be until 2035, as agreed between AirAsia and Airbus.
AirAsia received its first A321neo in November 2019 and currently has a total of 4 A321neo in service.
At present, the group has a total fleet size of 211 aircraft comprising 169 A320, 38 A320neo and 4 A321neo aircraft.
For its part, Air Asia Philippines has 24 A320 aircraft.
However, it will be up to the AirAsia Group to allocate aircraft or expand its current fleet.
To date, Air Asia Philippines is only operating at 15 percent of its pre-pandemic frequency.
“Our airline network and fleet strategy has been thoroughly reviewed to ensure flying on the most popular and profitable routes as we prepare for travel resumption across our network,” explained Bo Lingam, President (Airlines) of AirAsia Group.
“Our business model is robust, and there is a lot of pent-up demand,” he stressed. “We are confident that our airlines will be able to rebound and recover strongly as soon as travel restrictions are lifted.”
“We have always been in close engagement with Airbus and we look forward to a full A321neo fleet conversion that will further solidify our lowest cost base and lean cost structure,” he added.
The group believes that the A321neo will accelerate its business to meet a resurgence in air travel post-Covid-19.
The A321neo is a leader in its category and it will enable AirAsia to serve the demand across its network with significant operational efficiencies, with more than 10 percent fuel savings.
The A321neo also includes an additional 50 seats and extra cargo space, and will allow the airline to reduce its cost per Available Seat Kilometre (ASK) across the group, which will be passed on as lower air fares for passengers.
The A321neos will eventually replace the older A320s, which will lead to significant sustainability benefits.
The fuel savings translate into some 5,000 tonnes less carbon dioxide (CO2) emission per aircraft per year, in addition to the double-digit reduction in nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions and reduced engine noise.