New Asian deals get show orders rolling yet again

 - June 16, 2009, 11:49 AM

AirAsiaX has placed firm orders for 10 Airbus A350-900 airliners. The Malaysian carrier will use the new widebodys to connect its Asian hub in Kuala Lumpur with cities in Europe and Australia. The value of the deal was not confirmed but at list prices it would be approximately $2.4 billion.

“Business is all about timing and long-term strategy,” said AirAsiaX founder Tony Fernandes. “At AirAsia we have always planned for the long term. By buying the A350XWB the strategy of AirAsia and AirAsiaX is now fixed all the way to 2020.” Yesterday’s announcement did not confirm projected delivery dates for the aircraft.

AirAsiaX has also selected Rolls-Royce’s Trent XWB turbofans to power the two-engine A350s. A contract valued at $1.8 billion also includes engines for five options the carrier holds on A350s, as well as Trent 700EP engines for 10 A330s that AirAsia already has on order.

In more Airbus business conducted here in Paris yesterday, Vietnam Airlines placed firm orders for 16 more single-aisle A321s and signed a memorandum of understanding for two A350XWBs. The contract increases the number of orders placed by Vietnam Airlines to 41, fourteen of which the company has already delivered. “Vietnam will remain one of the key growth markets in Asia in the coming years,” said Airbus CEO Tom Enders.

Fellow Asian carrier Cebu Pacific also did its part to add to Airbus’s presence in the region, as it placed a firm order for five A320s, increasing its outstanding orders for the single-aisle workhorses to 15. The new aircraft at Cebu joins an existing A319 and A320 fleet flying on the low-cost carrier’s domestic and regional route network.
It expects to take its initial batch of 10 new A320s between 2010 and 2013, which will be powered by CFM International’s CFM56-5B engines in a deal worth $155 million.