AirAsia X’s order for 30 Airbus A321XLR and 12 additional A330neos was followed by several agreements in the MRO, digital and R&D fields.
Airbus takes care of Malaysia. Naturally, as a big customer of Airbus’ helicopters and military aircraft, the country also invested a lot in the European manufacturer’s commercial aircraft. AirAsia X has even become the tenth customer of the Airbus A321XLR with an order for 30 aircraft of the type and remains the current biggest client of the A330neo with 78 aircraft, 12 of which ordered at the same time as the A321XLR. The order is valued $5 billion, list price — making the A330neo reach 260 sales while the A321XLR nears 250. With this new contract, Airbus sold 622 aircraft to the group AirAsia. This explains the presence of Guillaume Fairy, Chief Executive Officer of Airbus, at Kuala Lumpur, for the signature of the contract and to strengthen the industrial cooperations already existing with the Malaysian aerospace sector.
Among the various activities the European manufacturer wants to boost, in order to strengthen its presence in the country, the group will expand the MRO site of Sepang Aircraft Engineering (SAE) — an wholly owned subsidiary of Airbus. The expansion of SAE will include the construction of a new hangar capable of accommodating four single-aisle or two wide-body aircraft for heavy checks, as well as the addition of new paint and component repair shops. The facilities will be ready to incorporate the Airbus Skywise digital platform and automated inspection techniques.
Airbus initiatives also include to work with local aeronautics stakeholders to identify and develop digital technologies projects as part of a plan named “Airbus Malaysia Digital Initiative”. Finally, the European company will further support the Aerospace Malaysia Innovation Centre appointing an Innovation Technical Director and increase its funding for joint research programmes for the potential production of alternative and sustainable aviation biofuels in Malaysia.