AirAsia weighs acquisition of 134 Airbus aircraft worth $23 bn
16 July 2018
Malaysian airliner AirAsia Group Bhd is in discussions with Airbus SE for the possible purchase of 100 Airbus A321neo and another 34 Airbus A330 neo jets, in a deal worth about $23 billion at the aircrafts’ list price.
Air Asia, already the second-biggest customer for Airbus’s re-engined A320 narrowbody, is weighing an order for as many as 100 A321neo aircraft, according to people familiar with the discussions.
The company's chief executive officer Tony Fernandes and Airbus are in parallel negotiations for an expanded order for 34 of the wide bodied A330neo jets as well, which would bring the number of these aircraft with it to 100.
Fernandes may attend this week's Farnborough Airshow where the two sides will attempt to end a rough patch in their relations and agree all or part of a complex package of wide-body and narrow-body jetliner orders, two sources said.
The talks are still private and orders are subject to final negotiations, sources said, adding that the two sides are confident of reaching an agreement on at least part of the deal.
Much will depend on the terms of the deal arrived at the Farnbourgh Airshow, the industry’s largest expo and a decision is likely next week, sources said.
As Tony Fernandes stated in an earlier tweet on his way to Airbus’ Toulouse, France, headquarters: “We have ordered the 330 but to finally confirm it we must make sure price is right. Performance is right. Engine is right,” adding, “If right the plane we dreamt of and fought for and then we can order more. Or else.”
The purchase of the A321neos would extend the Malaysian carrier’s existing orders to 504 planes and make it the biggest customer for Airbus’s marquee narrow body jet.
The new planes would help Fernandes further his plan to build a pan-Asian budget airline and capture a share of a market dominated by Gulf-based carriers and Air India Ltd.
with its hubs in Bengaluru, Air Asia has also expanded its India operations with flights to 20 destinations, including New Delhi, Kolkata, Kochi, Goa, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Pune, Guwahati, Imphal, Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad, Srinagar, Bagdogra, Ranchi, Indore, Nagpur, Bhubaneshwar, Surat and Chennai.