AirAsia's long-haul operation, AirAsia X, is planning to lease six Airbus A330-300s from US firm International Lease Finance.

The carrier, which already has nine A330s, has signed a letter of intent to acquire the twinjets, which would be delivered over 2013-14.

ILFC says the A330s will be fitted with Rolls-Royce Trent 700 powerplants and have a maximum take-off weight of 233t, and are the "same model" which the airline is taking directly from the airframer.

The lessor confirms that AirAsia X will take six aircraft on a 10-year term and be configured to the carrier's current A330-300 layout, featuring 12 premium-class and 365 economy-class seats.

"These six aircraft, together with existing delivery orders from Airbus, will see AirAsia X's growth develop, with a total of seven deliveries each in 2013 and 2014, with the aim of being the dominant market leader in the low-cost long-haul segment," said AirAsia X chief Azran Osman-Rani.

"We intend to deploy the additional capacity with a vision to solidify our positions in our identified core markets including Australia, China, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan."

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news