AirAsia reweights its Airbus order, has 480 planes left unfilled


AirAsia intends to take no new aircraft deliveries in 2020 and is relooking Airbus order, the carrier revealed on April 29, 2020. Two of the company’s carriers, AirAsia Malaysia and AirAsia X Malaysia, together have orders for 480 planes left unfilled with the European manufacturer.

“We do not intend to take any new aircraft deliveries this year with the target to end 2020 with 242 aircraft, a net reduction of 1 aircraft from last year,” Executive Chairman of AirAsia Group, Datuk Kamarudin Meranun said in the company’s statement. “We are relooking at our orderbook with Airbus.”

AirAsia Malaysia has unfilled orders for 349 A321neo aircraft (not taking into account four already-delivered Neos) and 13 of A320neo (38 have already been delivered to the company). The company’s subsidiary AirAsia X Malaysia had extra orders for 30 A321neo, 76 A330-900 (not counting the two already-delivered planes) and 10 A350XWBs, Airbus books as of March 31, 2020 showed.

In 2018, the company began selling and leasing out its aircraft ‒ a decision which proved to be useful for AirAsia, as it was able to lock in the “best” price and eliminate residual risk of owning the aircraft, Meranun outlined.

The aircraft order re-evaluation comes among the airline’s other measures to manage and contain costs, as it aims to reduce them by no less than 30% in 2020 (when compared to 2019).

According to the chairman, the company has already restructured a “major portion” of its fuel hedges and is still restructuring the remaining exposure, in hopes it would help to deal with the excess of hedged volume against expected fuel consumption post-COVID-19 and reduce the hedging losses if fuel price remains at today’s prices.

“Further measures in managing and containing cost include both the management and senior employees of AirAsia Group volunteering a salary sacrifice, re-negotiating contracts and deferring all non-essential expenditures.”

AirAsia is an all-Airbus operator, which currently has A321, A320 and A330 aircraft in fleet. 

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