Long-haul budget carrier AirAsia X is ordering another 12 Airbus A330-900s, adding to the 66 already booked by the airline.

It is also taking 30 of the newly-launched long-range Airbus A321XLR single-aisle twinjet.

AirAsia X signed for the aircraft during an event in Kuala Lumpur on 30 August.

While the A330neos are powered exclusively by Rolls-Royce Trent 7000s, no engine selection has been disclosed for the A321XLRs – although AirAsia is a strong CFM International customer.

AirAsia X's new agreement will take its firm A330neo order total to 78 aircraft.

The budget airline had been instrumental in the decision by Airbus to re-engine the A330.

AirAsia Group chief Tony Fernandes says the order for the 12 additional aircraft "reaffirms" the company's selection of the twinjet as the "most efficient choice" for its long-haul fleet.

Fernandes adds that the A321XLR will enable the company to introduce routes to new destinations.

AirAsia X chairman Rafidah Aziz says the decision will enable the airline to "look at expanding beyond the 8h flight radius", to cover destinations in Europe.

AirAsia's order combination will lend strong backing to Airbus's strategic pairing of the long-range A321neo variants with the A330neo as a counter to Boeing's development of a New Mid-market Airplane.

Source: FlightGlobal.com