AirAsia close to ordering 100 Airbus aircraft

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AirAsia is close to placing an order for 100 Airbus aircraft to aid its international expansion.

A plan to acquire the additional aircraft will be submitted to its board in about two weeks, says group chief executive Tony Fernandes.

The 100 aircraft to be ordered will be narrowbodies including the Airbus A320neo, sources say.

The low-cost carrier already has 200 A320neos and 70 A320-200s on order. More aircraft, however, are needed for the expansion of its affiliates in Indonesia, Thailand, Japan and Philippines.

"Fleet roll out meeting now. Lots of growth. As been saying need more planes. Especially in Indonesia," says Fernandes in a tweet today.

Last month, AirAsia was also given the green light to acquire Indonesia's Batavia Air. Batavia operates five A320s, one A321, two A330-200s and 25 737s. Part of AirAsia's plan is also to replace Batavia's older Boeing aircraft with new ones from Airbus.

AirAsia Indonesia operates 19 A320s. Fernandes had previously said that the affiliate needs six aircraft in 2012, but "we don't have enough to give them".

AirAsia Philippines and AirAsia Japan were also launched this year.