AirAsia, the Malaysia-based low-cost carrier, is now the largest airline customer for the Airbus A320 after an order for an additional 25 aircraft last week brought its total for the type to 175. The narrowbodies will replace leased Boeing 737s operated by joint ventures Indonesia AirAsia and Thai AirAsia by 2008, says the airline.
"This purchase is an important step for us at AirAsia as it signifies our future aggressive route expansion plans in tandem to our expected traffic growth over the next decade," says AirAsia chief executive Tony Fernandes.
Rival Malaysian low-cost carrier Firefly, a subsidiary of national carrier Malaysia Airways has confirmed an order for 10 ATR42-500 aircraft. Both airlines are looking to be the first low-cost carrier to fly the lucrative Kuala Lumpur-Singapore route, which is being opened up from February.
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