Fly Asian Xpress, owner of new Malaysian long-haul budget airline AirAsia X, last month placed an order for 10 new Airbus A330-300s with options for up to 15 more as it prepares for takeoff this year.
The firm, a sister to fast-growing budget carrier AirAsia, said the order, worth a total of about US$2.6 billion at list prices, would be funded via private equity and bank debt.
It would not rely on AirAsia to help fi nance them, said AirAsia chief Tony Fernandes, major investor in both airlines.
Fernandes said the long-haul service would start fl ying out of the Malaysian capital this September, primarily to Japan, South Korea, China, India, Australia and the Middle East. It would also fl y some European routes, he added.
He also announced AirAsia X would be rebranded as AirAsia Long Haul and said it would build a fl eet of 25 planes over the next fi ve years.
AirAsia is a loyal Airbus customer, after ordering 150 A320s for short-haul fl ights, with another 50 A320s on options.
Fly Asian Xpress is owned by Raja Mohamad Azmi, Fernandes and AirAsia deputy group chief executive Kamarudin Meranun. It currently serves Malaysia’s eastern states of Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo.