AirAisa X has closed a deal with Airbus for 42 new aircraft. Twelve A330-900 and thirty A321XLR are set to bolster the trans-Asian airline’s already formidable presence in the affordable air travel market.
AirAsiaX is, unsurprisingly, a sister company of AirAsia, the largest Asian international carrier. Based in Malaysia, AirAsia runs a myriad of routes between many nearby Asian (especially Southeast Asian) cities. AirAsiaX focuses on long distance routes, especially between Asia, Australia, and the United States. Its first route, commenced in 2007, was between Kuala Lumpur and the Australian Gold Coast. It tends to use peripheral airports rather than central ones to keep ticket prices down; in 2018, it swapped its KL-Melbourne route for nearby Avalon Airport.
The A330-900 is an extended fuselage version of the Airbus A330neo. It can seat up to 300 passengers in a three-class layout; that number rises to 440 if an airline choses to forgo luxury seating options. Its range of 13,400km is sufficient for most intercontinental routes, with the exception of some trans-Pacific flights.
The A321XLR is the newest adaptation of the A321neo, the world’s best-selling single aisle aircraft. It has been refined to make its range “Xtra Long”, and can now travel up to 8500km. Smaller bodied planes better accommodate smaller airports; the A321XLR is a popular choice for smaller regional airlines. For AirAsiaX, the more efficient, but still lower passenger capacity model will enable the opening and continuation of less-traveled routes such as India-Europe and China-Australia, according to the Airbus website.