AirAsia X has again adjusted its fleet plan, shelving plans to operate new A330-900neos on long haul routes to Western Europe and adding secondhand A330-300ceos. The low cost long haul airline group continues to consider A350s – and has even been offered delivery slots in 2018 to support a potential near term relaunch of London – but has decided, for at least the short to medium term, to stick with an all-A330 fleet and focus on medium haul routes within Asia Pacific.
AirAsia X initially intended to use A330neos to resume services to Europe, starting with Kuala Lumpur-London Gatwick. However, Airbus’ decision not to increase the maximum takeoff weight of the initial A330-900neo from 242 tonnes to 245 tonnes means it can no longer make Kuala Lumpur-London or Kuala Lumpur-Paris without uneconomical payload restrictions.
AirAsia X still plans to begin taking deliveries of A330-900neos at the end of 2018, the aircraft to be operated in two-class configuration on existing routes within Asia Pacific. The group also plans to add six or seven single class A330-300s in 2H2018, enabling expansion in all three of its home markets (Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia) prior to the arrival of the A330-900neos.
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