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Airbus Confirms AirAsia A320 Order

AirAsia, the region's largest low-cost carrier, has placed a firm order for an additional 25 A320s. The latest contract brings AirAsia Group's (Malaysia AirAsia, Thai AirAsia and Indonesia AirAsia) total orders to 175 A320 aircraft and makes it the largest airline customer for this particular aircraft in the world.

The contract was signed today at the Langkawi Airshow by Datuk Tony Fernandes, Group Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia and John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer - Customers of Airbus.

AirAsia placed its original order for 60 A320s in March 2005, with re-orders for an additional 40 aircraft announced at the Farnborough Airshow in July 2006 and another 50 aircraft in January 2007. The first aircraft was delivered to AirAsia in December 2005, with the airline currently operating 31 A320s on a rapidly expanding domestic and regional network.

AirAsia's Kuala Lumpur hub is fully operated with A320s and the aircraft is expected to completely replace Thai AirAsia's and Indonesia AirAsia’s old generation Boeing 737 fleets by 2008.

"This purchase is an important step for us at AirAsia as it signifies our future aggressive route expansion plans in tandem to our expected traffic growth over the next decade. It also demonstrates our commitment to enhance AirAsia's position on our networks by incorporating the most modern and efficient aircraft in the market. The addition of aircraft will be used to add frequency across the route network and introduce new routes. AirAsia's introduction to the aviation industry as an innovator has grown to the extent it is now a leader that sets the benchmark to others, said Datuk Tony Fernandes, Group CEO of Air Asia Bhd.

"We have been extremely proud to be part of AirAsia's outstanding success and delighted that the confidence in the A320 has resulted in the airline now becoming the largest airline customer for this aircraft in the world. With its unbeatable economics and enormous passenger appeal, I am confident that the large A320 fleet is destined to propel AirAsia to the forefront of industry in the years ahead," said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer - Customers.

The A320 Family, which includes the A318, A319, A320 and A321, is recognised as the benchmark single-aisle aircraft family. Each aircraft features fly by wire controls and all share unique cockpit commonality across the range. Over 5,500 Airbus A320 Family have been sold and over 3,200 delivered to more than 200 customers and operators worldwide, making it the world’s best selling commercial jetliner ever.

With proven reliability and extended servicing periods, the A320 Family offers the lowest operating costs of any single aisle aircraft. In addition, the latest new cabin design saves on weight and offers the passenger a quieter and roomier experience as well as significantly larger overhead stowage lockers. Uniquely, the A320 Family offers a containerised cargo system, which is compatible with the worldwide standard wide-body system.

Airbus is an EADS company.

AirAsia to Become Largest Airline Customer for A320 Aircraft