New Competition for Norwegian from the East: Prize-Winning Long-Haul Low-Cost AirAsia X Orders 50 A330neo To Reach Europe

AirAsia X, the long-haul affiliate of the Skytrax Winning AirAsia (World’s Best and Asia’s Best Low-Cost Carrier as announced today) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Airbus for 50 A330-900neo at Farnborough.  

Air Asia X A330neo/Image Airbus

This purchase will make Air Asia X the launch airline customer for this aircraft.

“We have been encouraging Airbus to launch this new version of the A330 for some time now,” said Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, Co-Founder and Director of AirAsia X. ”I am pleased that they are offering this choice and bringing us the aircraft we truly need to develop further our low cost long haul model. We are 100% sure that the A330neo will be quite unbeatable in its size category and we look forward to enabling more people to fly further more often aboard this great aircraft.” 

Just in case both Boeing and Norwegian airlines didn’t get the dig,  Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO stated: “AirAsia X is the pioneer of successful low cost long-haul travel.”

AirAsia X has not yet announced plans to fly beyond the Asia-Pacific market into the US over the Pacific Ocean, but it would an interesting turn of events if that were to happen.  Of course, it doesn’t need to.  AirAsia is instead turning its attention to Europe, with the A330neo as its vehicle for re-entry, according to a report by Bloomberg today.

Once again, things just got exciting for the Peanuts, especially in the controversial Long-Haul markets.  

On a related note, AirAsia has one of the most colourful and eye-catching financial reports in the entire aviation industry–possibly in the world.


Lessors: Avolon in Dublin committed to 15 A330neo today; CIT Group Inc., committed to an additional 15 aircraft today; and Air Lease Corporation committed to 25 A330neo yesterday.   

All-in-all, this is a very good result thus far for Airbus on the launch of this new generation aircraft–and we’re only into day two of the show.


Marisa Garcia

After working for sixteen years in aviation, specializing in aircraft interiors design and aviation safety equipment, and getting hands-on with aircraft cabins in hangars around the world, Marisa Garcia turned her expertise into industry insight. She has been reporting on aviation matters since 2014. Every day, she's putting words to work.

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