23-May-2011 11:03 AM

AirAsia in 'serious negotiations' with Airbus for purchase to rival record

AirAsia is reportedly conducting 'serious negotiation' with Airbus to purchase several A320neo aircraft, in a deal which could rival a recent Southwest Airlines USD16 billion, 180-aircraft deal as one of the world's largest (Reuters, 20-May-2011). The LCC announced in Feb-2011 that it was considering the purchase of as many as 175 A320neo's, as well as widebody A330s. The deal is expected to be announced at the 20-Jun-2011 to 26-Jun-2011 Paris Air Show. The A320neo, due to enter service in 2015, boasts 15% fuel savings due mainly to new engines from either Pratt & Whitney or CFM International.

AirAsia: "We have done a study (which shows) that AirAsia has a potential to have about 500 planes ... that we could be the size of Southwest airlines. That would give you some idea; we already have an order of 175 or so. The market is big and the market is growing. We are in a fantastic playground, Asia Pacific," Founder, Tony Fernandes. Source: Reuters, 22-May-2011.