AirAsia defers eight more A320s

Singapore
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Malaysian low-cost carrier group AirAsia will defer eight Airbus A320s it was due to receive in 2011, bringing its total A320 deferrals to 16.

The carrier is also accelerating the phasing out of its Boeing 737s, AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes tells ATI.

Fernandes says AirAsia has now deferred a total of 16 A320s. In July the carrier said it will defer eight of the 24 A320s it was due to receive in 2010.

Fernandes provided no details about when the eight A320s deferred from 2011 will be received. Malaysia's Star newspaper, however, reports that the eight aircraft deferred from 2011 will be received in 2014.

On 16 September AirAsia said it raised 505 million ringgit ($147 million) through the issuance of new shares. Fernandes told ATI in August that the private placement was to reduce debt.

The carrier has over 100 Airbus A320s on firm order and is working to get financing for some of these.

The group's move to delay aircraft comes as other carriers in the region are struggling to gain financing for aircraft, and are cutting air services in response to the global downturn in air traffic.