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AirAsia first in Southeast Asia to operate Airbus A320neo aircraft powered by CFM International LEAP-1A engines

SEPANG, 15 SEPTEMBER 2016 – AirAsia, the world’s best low-cost airline becomes the first airline in Southeast Asia to operate the Airbus A320neo aircraft powered by CFM International LEAP-1A engines. The official welcoming ceremony of the aircraft with registration number 9M-NEO was held today near Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Equipped with a Space Flex Cabin for an optimal passenger comfort and efficiency, the aircraft is configured with 186 seats. It is the airline group’s 172nd aircraft to be received from a total of 575 aircraft in its order book.

A celebratory event was held today to commemorate the arrival of this aircraft, which was attended by Malaysia’s Minister of Transport, Dato’ Sri Liow Tiong Lai, H.E. Christophe Pinot, French Ambassador to Malaysia, H.E. Victoria Marguerite Treadell, British High Commissioner to Malaysia, Datuk Kamarudin Meranun, Executive Chairman of AirAsia Berhad and Group CEO of AirAsia X Berhad, Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, AirAsia Group CEO; along with the rest of the AirAsia Group’s senior management. Also present at the event were Kiran Rao, Executive Vice President Strategy & Marketing, Airbus and Allen Paxson, CFM Executive Vice President.

Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, Group CEO of AirAsia said, “We are thrilled to receive the Airbus A320neo, which will ensure AirAsia remains at the forefront of our business, with one of the world's youngest and most modern fleet. The aircraft will deliver fuel savings of 15 percent and additional range capability of 500 nautical miles, which will be translated to low fares for our guests. This is further complemented with the extra seats installed, pushing the capacity up to 186 per aircraft.

“We are particularly pleased on the environmental element, where the fuel savings translates into some 5,000 tonnes less CO2 per aircraft per year, in addition to the double-digit reduction in NOx emissions and reduced engine noise” he added.

Kiran Rao, Executive Vice President Strategy & Marketing, Airbus said “AirAsia has set the benchmark for efficiency wherever it flies. With the A320neo things are about to get even better, with a 15 per cent reduction in fuel consumption and lower maintenance costs. Meanwhile passengers will get to enjoy the same unbeatable levels of comfort of any aircraft in the single aisle category. The A320neo is the quite simply the most efficient single-aisle passenger jet in the world. We are confident that it will play a key role in enabling AirAsia to maintain its position as one of the world’s leading low-cost carriers.”

“We are honored to be part of this incredible team and excited to enter the next new phase of our relationship with AirAsia,” said Allen Paxson, CFM Executive Vice President. “We believe that all of the benefits of LEAP technology — fuel efficiency, an improved environmental footprint, industry-leading reliability, low maintenance costs —  will have a very positive impact on AirAsia's operational efficiency and help fuel their continued growth long-term."

AirAsia is Airbus’ biggest airline customer for the A320 Family with a total of 575 aircraft ordered. Of these, 404 are the A320neo Family, following the airline’s latest firm order for 100 A321neo aircraft placed at the recent Farnborough Airshow.


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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.

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