AirAsia X deciding whether to adjust Airbus order

AirAsia X is in currently deciding whether they should convert part of their Airbus A330neo agreement to the smaller A321neo, which they say is more flexible and can be used in smaller markets.

July was when Airbus breathed a sigh of relief when AirAsia X announced they are keeping their order for 66 of the A330neo and also signed a memorandum of understanding for 34 additional frames.

AirAsia X deciding whether to convert some A330neo to smaller A321neo aircraft

AirAsia X signing for Airbus A330neos during the 2018 Farnborough Airshow

Chief Executive, Benyamin Ismail, said to media that a team within the airline is currently deciding if this is the right move and if so, how many they should convert. Should this decision go ahead, Airbus will have to cop another hit to the head with the A330neo program, which has already been struck multiple times by the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

In addition to their decision making process regarding the conversion, Ismail has also said to media that the airline is still open to ordering the Boeing 787 should the A330neo see the same engine issues on Trent 1000 powered 787s, indicating that if the airline did place an order for the 787, General Electric engines would be selected.

Rolls-Royce has maintained the fact that the Trent 7000 engine which powers the A330neo family won’t suffer from issues seen on the Trent 7000, however has admitted they are behind schedule for this years engine deliveries due to resources being pointed towards the Trent 1000 line.

Airbus, Rolls-Royce and AirAsia X are now working hard to come to an agreement on what works best. Ultimately, if the A321neo is selected to replace part of the A330neo order, it’s still an Airbus win, however less earned due to the A330neos higher purchase price.