AirAsia X has placed a firm order with Airbus for the new A321XLR, as well as an order for additional A330neos.

The order is comprised of 30 Airbus A321XLRs and 12 additional A330-900neo aircraft, the order was signed in Kuala Lumpur today.

Attending the signing ceremony was the Chief Executive Officer of Airbus, Guillaume Faury, and the Chairman of AirAsia X, Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, in presence of the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Figures show this announcement brings the total A330neo order backlog for AirAsia X to 78 aircraft, reaffirming their position as the biggest customer for the type.

AirAsia X Orders A321XLR and Additional A330neos
AirAsia Airbus A321XLR

The addition of the A321XLR broadens the A320 Family presence in the entire AirAsia Group, with a total of 622 aircraft ordered.

Exclusively powered by the Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engine and paired with state-of-the-art aerodynamics, the A330neo has proven to be the best widebody option for AirAsia X.

Although no engine option has been made for the A321XLR order, it is worth noting that AirAsia is a significant CFM International customer.

“This order reaffirms our selection of the A330neo as the most efficient  choice for our future widebody fleet. In addition, the A321XLR offers the longest flying range of any single aisle aircraft and will enable us to introduce services to new destinations.”

Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, Chief Executive Officer, AirAsia Group
AirAsia X Orders A321XLR and Additional A330neos
AirAsia Airbus A330neo

Pairing the A330neo and A321XLR in a single order is a strong stab at Boeing, who has been busy studying the requirements of a new mid-market aircraft.

Airbus, however, has been advertising the combination of the A330neo and A321 as the perfect solution, offering versatility and similar operating characteristics.

Guillaume Faury reflected on this in the following statement:

“This new order for the A330neo and A321XLR is a true endorsement of the Airbus solution to meet mid-market demand with a combination of single aisle and widebody products.”

AirAsia were a key factor to the launch of the A330neo and, although there have been some ups and downs through the media, this announcement comes as a great victory for Airbus.