Asian carriers are stocking up at this year's Farnborough Airshow, with low-cost longhaul carrier AirAsia X signing for 50 Airbus A330-900neos, while Air Mandalay has ordered from Mitsubishi six MRJ 90s with a purchase option for another four.
The AirAsia X MoU signing took place at the Farnborough Airshow in the UK, and was attended by Azran Osman-Rani, CEO of AirAsia X, and Fabrice Brégier, president and CEO of Airbus.
First deliveries of the A330-900neo will begin in 2018, making AirAsia X one of the first operators of the new aircraft.
The A330-800neo and A330-900neo feature the latest generation Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, aerodynamic enhancements and new cabin features. Fuel consumption is 14 per cent less per seat on the A330neo, while other benefits include the aircraft’s increased range of up to 400 nautical miles.
Brégier said: “AirAsia X is the pioneer of successful low-cost longhaul travel...Reduced fuel consumption, extended long-range capability and competitive acquisition costs will make the A330neo a true game changer and we are proud that AirAsia X will be among the first airlines to fly the aircraft.”
Meanwhile, Air Mandalay’s purchase aims to serve the needs of local and international travellers in Myanmar as the country transitions to an international standard air transport structure, said a spokesperson. The new aircraft will be delivered beginning 2018.
“Air Mandalay is the first Asian airline outside of Japan to select the Mitsubishi aircraft. We chose the MRJ for its advanced design characteristics, its promised customer support backed by the Mitsubishi parent company, and the reliability and economy of the Pratt and Whitney geared turbofan engine,” said the carrier’s CEO, Gary Villiard.
Air Mandalay now operates turboprop aircraft and will add six Embraer regional jets to its fleet this year. The airline flies to 15 domestic destinations and offers charters to oil companies.