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AirAsia X eyes major developments after upsizing A330neo order

Fresh from signing an order for 34 additional A330-900s, AirAsia X co-chief executive Tony Fernandes has signalled major growth plans ahead for the Malaysian long-haul, low-cost carrier and its affiliates.

In a series of tweets, Fernandes says that the airline’s revenue management is being worked on, noting that "the way we do" is different from its short-haul sister, AirAsia.

"Network fixed. Model fixed. Organisation structure fixed. Planes bought. Revenue last bit," notes Fernandes.

However, he warns that there "will be pain" in the second and third quarter financial results, due to lower yields, while it will cancel underperforming routes and business partnerships. The focus will be on markets it can "dominate" such as Australia, China, India, Japan, and South Korea.

Following the completion of an internal reorganisation by AirAsia carriers into the AirAsia Group in April, Fernandes flagged that a similar structure would be adopted by the AirAsia X Group.

As well as the core Malaysian long-haul carrier, AirAsia X holds 49% stakes in Indonesia AirAsia X, and Thai AirAsia X.

Fernandes says that the Thai unit will conduct an initial public offering "soon," while the Indonesian arm plans to implement a dual hub strategy focusing on Denpasar and Jakarta.

AirAsia X placed the order for additional A330neos at the Farnborough air show on 19 July, taking its commitment for the type to 100. That compares to a group fleet of 31 A330-300s, Flight Fleets Analyzer shows, 22 of which are with the Malaysian operation.

In response to a tweet from another user, Fernandes says around 70 of them will be used for "new growth," adding that the numbers of aircraft are "not enough".

Separately, the company issued a stock exchange disclosure that states the additional A330neos will be delivered between October 2019 and the second half of 2028. They will be used for growth and replacement of leased aircraft over the next 10 years.

It also notes that the aircraft’s “greater range capability” will enable it to access more international markets, “namely Europe and the United States.”

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