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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        1  March 2011

AirAsia X contracts for Airbus planes

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AirAsia X, the long haul, low fare affiliate of Malaysia-based AirAsia Group has signed a firm contract for 3 new A330-200s with an option for 2 more, which brings the airline's total order to 28 A330's. Scheduled for delivery from 2014, the aircraft will be operated on the carrier's expanding network, offering low fare service to destinations in Europe, Asia and the Pacific.

AirAsia X has ordered the 238 tonne increased take-off weight version of the A330-200, capable of flying non-stop from Kuala Lumpur to Europe. The airline will configure the aircraft in a two class layout with 24 Premium flatbeds and 264 Economy seats.

The agreement was signed by Dato' Kamarudin Meranun, the Chairman of AirAsia X and Dr. Kiran Rao, Airbus Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing. It was witnessed by The Honourable Datuk Seri Dr, Chua Soi Lek, Dato' Sri Dr. Tony Fernandes, founder of AirAsia X and Azran Osman-Rani, CEO of AirAsia X. The signing ceremony took place today at the Westin Kuala Lumpur with the attendance of AirAsia X's business partners and members of the media.

Azran Osman-Rani, Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia X said "This order reflects our positive outlook for the long haul low cost market out of Asia and the investment valued at RM1.5 billion would contribute significantly to the Prime Minister's Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) targets, specifically in realising the Prime Minister's strategy of prioritising direct flights to strategic and important markets. This would ensure Malaysia achieves its tourism targets in 2020."

"With its low fuel burn, spacious cabin and extended range, the A330-200 will further improve our fuel efficiency and carbon emissions and strengthen our position as having the world's lowest unit cost, enabling more people to fly further at lower cost than ever before," concluded Azran.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More

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