Airbus CEO Tom Enders said the order is "proof that there are some rays of sunshine in the market, certainly in the low-cost market." Deliveries are slated to begin in the first quarter of 2016.
AirAsia X said it will use the aircraft for low-fare long-haul flights with a particular focus on routes connecting Kuala Lumpur to Europe, South America and Australia. CEO Tony Fernandes said, "There is business out there if you go out and find it. . .I know it´s bleak out there but there is light." He contended that the A350 will "make low-cost travel available to anyone."
He noted that negotiations with Airbus had gone on late into the preceding night and said, "the deal was finally done on the train this morning" as he made his way to Paris. AirAsia X will configure the aircraft to seat more than 400 passengers in a two-class layout.
Also yesterday, Vietnam Airlines placed a firm order with Airbus for 16 more A321s and signed an MOU for two additional A350-900s. The latest A321 contract increases the total orders placed by the carrier for the type to 41, of which 14 have been delivered. The commitment for the A350s comes in addition to an existing firm order for 10 placed in December 2007.
Cebu Pacific signed an agreement for five A320s, upping its total orders for the type to 15. The newly ordered aircraft are scheduled for delivery from 2013. The initial batch of 10 A320s is scheduled for delivery between 2010 and 2013.