AirAsia stated (11-Feb-2011) it signed an ammendment agreement with Airbus on 10-Feb-2011 to defer the delivery of 10 A320 aircraft originally scheduled for delivery in 2012 until 2015. The aircraft form part of a firm order for 175 A320s signed in Mar-2005 for delivery between Dec-2005 and Oct-2014. The delivery of 24 aircraft in 2012 will be reduced to 14 while deliveries in 2015 will be increased from nine to 19. The carrier stated no penalties are payable by AirAsia in revising the schedule. [more]
AirAsia: "A key commercial reason for the deferral of the 2012 Aircraft is to afford the company some flexibility to switch from its current order of the classic A320 to a new generation A320 aircraft which is more fuel efficient when such aircraft come into production in the near future. The deferral will also have a positive impact from the balance sheet perspective, as it will help to maintain the Company's net gearing position to below 2. Despite the deferral, AirAsia will nevertheless be taking delivery of 14 aircraft in 2012. This will enable the company to support the growth of its joint ventures in the Philippines as well as Vietnam while continuing to support existing affiliate airlines. On the back of AirAsia's very encouraging financial results in the last quarter, the focus of the company is to consolidate its growth while creating growth in other regions. The deferment is expected to create a greater optimisation of aircraft utilisation in tandem with the growth in passenger capacity," Company Statement, 11-Feb-2011.