AirAsia X has signed a memorandum of understanding with GE Aviation for CF6-80E1 engines to power the 25 Airbus A330-300s it has on order.
The memorandum was signed in the presence of US president Barack Obama during a state visit to Kuala Lumpur.
The agreement, worth $1.5 billion, includes a multi-year OnPoint maintenance, repair and overhaul solution, and also covers three options for A330s that the carrier holds.
The selection of GE engines is a major change for AirAsia X, as all bar one of the A330s in its fleet are powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 772 engines. The other A330, which is leased from AWAS, is powered by CF6 engines.
“GE was selected based on technical reliability and fuel efficiency performance with combined competitive pricing that will ensure AirAsia X maintains our competitive advantage as the world's lowest unit cost airline operator, with industry-leading reliability performance,” says chief executive Azran Osman-Rani.
AirAsia group chief executive Tony Fernandes adds that AirAsia X’s fleet has “reached sufficient scale to support two engine types, with sufficient spare engine coverage, specialist engineers and technicians, and strong on-site service commitment from both engine providers.”
Flightglobal’s Ascend Online Fleets database shows that AirAsia X has 17 A330s in service and 37 on order. It also holds orders for 10 A350-900s that will be powered by R-R Trent XWB-84 engines.