AirAsia’s fleet development took a step forward last week as the carrier’s first A321neo was delivered from Airbus. The carrier has 353 A321neo aircraft on order, with the new deliveries slated for network expansion and replacement of older A320 family aircraft over time.
We are proud to welcome our first A321neo today as the backbone of our future operations. This new aircraft will be deployed on popular routes delivering growth opportunities to new markets and add extra capacity in existing markets, particularly where there are expansion constraints due to infrastructure or slot availability limitations. Last year AirAsia flew over 90 million guests and now, with significantly improved operational efficiencies and 50 more seats per aircraft, AirAsia can look forward to flying even more people for less.– AirAsia Group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes
AirAsia will fit its A321neo aircraft with 236 seats on board, four short of the maximum possible on the frame. This represents a 27% increase from the A320 (180 seats) or A320neo (186). The company expects to see a 10% fuel savings with the newer aircraft, further lowering costs and reducing emissions even as the operation grows.
Initial routes for the aircraft include flights to Kuching, Kota Kinabalu, Singapore, Bangkok, and Shenzhen from Kuala Lumpur.
While it will be a very full aircraft, that does not mean comfort will be completely sacrificed. The A321neo fleet is fitted with the newest Mirus Hawk seats, including USB power in the armrests for all passengers. The aircraft will also be fitted with the GX Aviation inflight connectivity offering powered by Inmarsat and using the AirAsia Wifi portal (formerly known as Rokki) to deliver ancillary revenue opportunities and passenger entertainment on board. The carrier expects that this will provide an improved passenger experience, even with the high density configuration inside.