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AirAsia X switches remaining A330s to re-engined variant

Long-haul low-cost operator AirAsia X has cancelled 11 Airbus A330-300s in favour of taking 11 re-engined A330neo jets.

Airbus has revealed the agreement in its full-year order and delivery data for 2015, released during a briefing in Paris.

AirAsia X is taking the A330-900neo version of the new long-haul jet. The change raises its A330-900neo orders from 55 to 66, and effectively wipes out the carrier's A330-300 order backlog.

Airbus has secured accumulated orders for 160 A330-900neos with the smaller -800neo accounting for another 10.

South African Airways also firmed its order for five A330-300s.

The agreements, recorded in December, took overall A330 orders for the year to 140.

Airbus had been facing an orders slump for the A330 which spurred it to reduce monthly production to six aircraft ahead of its transition to the A330neo.

But chief operating officer for customers John Leahy, speaking during the Paris event, claimed the airframer was now “production-constrained” on the type and indicated that there was room to raise the rate to seven or even eight.

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