It’s a great time once again for AirAsia as they become the first ever airline company in Southeast Asia to operate the Airbus A320neo which is powered by CFM International LEAP-1A engines.
I am truly honored to have been invited by AirAsia Philippines to fly to Malaysia to personally witness the incredible plane’s Welcoming Ceremony, headed by none other than AirAsia’s big boss and all-around good guy, Tan Sri Tony Fernandes.
The AirAsia Airbus A320neo – An incredible welcome for an equally incredible aircraft
The official ceremony of the aircraft with registration number 9M-NEO was held just last Thursday (September 15, 2016) at the Sepang Aircraft Engineering (SAE) Hangar near Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
What makes the Airbus A320neo special, you may ask? Well, this sleek and beautiful aircraft is equipped with a Space Flex Cabin for optimal passenger comfort and efficiency. This particular plane is configured with 186 seats and is the airline group’s 172nd aircraft to be received from a total of 575 aircraft in its order book.
Notable personalities attend the ceremony
Apart from Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, other notable personalities who were present during yesterday’s festivities to commemorate the arrival of this Airbus A320neo were Malaysia’s Minister of Transport, Dato’ Sri Liow Tiong Lai, H.E. Christophe Pinot, French Ambassador to Malaysia, H.E. Victoria Marguerite Treadell, British High Commissioner to Malaysia, Datuk Kamarudin Meranun, Executive Chairman of AirAsia Berhad and Group CEO of AirAsia X Berhad, AirAsia Group CEO; along with the rest of the AirAsia Group’s senior management. Also present at the event were Kiran Rao, Executive Vice President Strategy & Marketing, Airbus and Allen Paxson, CFM Executive Vice President.
The Airbus A320neo – Safer, economical and more environment-friendly
During his brief talk on stage, Group CEO of AirAsia, Tony Fernandes said, “We are thrilled to receive the Airbus A320neo, which will ensure AirAsia remains at the forefront of our business, with one of the world’s youngest and most modern fleet. The aircraft will deliver fuel savings of 15 percent and additional range capability of 500 nautical miles, which will be translated to low fares for our guests. This is further complemented with the extra seats installed, pushing the capacity up to 186 per aircraft.”
He adds that they are particularly pleased on the environmental element, where the fuel savings translates into some 5,000 tonnes less CO2 per aircraft per year, in addition to the double-digit reduction in NOx emissions and reduced engine noise.
This is most definitely welcome news especially to people like me who greatly care about the environment — that should be all of us, in fact.
According to Kiran Rao, Executive Vice President Strategy & Marketing, Airbus, AirAsia has set the benchmark for efficiency wherever it flies. He says that with the Airbus A320neo, things are about to get even better because of the aircraft’s 15 per cent reduction in fuel consumption and lower maintenance costs.
Meanwhile, Kiran adds, passengers will still get to enjoy the same unbeatable levels of comfort of any aircraft in the single aisle category.
Expect more Airbus A320neo aircrafts from AirAsia
AirAsia happens to be Airbus’ biggest airline customer for the A320 Family with a total of 575 aircrafts ordered. Of 575 aircrafts, 404 of these are the A320neo Family. This follows the airline’s latest firm order for 100 A321neo aircrafts placed at the recent Farnborough Airshow.
In a nutshell, the Airbus A320neo is quite simply the most efficient single-aisle passenger jet in the world. Wow. In fact, they are confident that this aircraft will play a key role in enabling AirAsia to maintain its position as one of the world’s leading low-cost carriers.
Exploring the new AirAsia Airbus A320neo
I was able to enter the Airbus A320neo during this huge event and was very impressed with how beautiful the aircraft was.
The cabin seats are noticeably slimmer without compromising comfort and space. Apart from that, ample leg room can be expected, which is great especially for taller individuals.
I even got the chance to scope the lavatory. Hehehe.
If you think that AirAsia would spend a couple more days staring and admiring the beauty of this fine aircraft, you’d be wrong. In Tony Fernandes own words which he said during the short Q&A portion of the event, “We don’t waste time.” The new Airbus A320neo would immediately be “put on active duty”, so to speak, and sent off to Kota Kinabalu right after the welcoming ceremony.
Well, I could go on and on talking about this, but the only way to fully appreciate the awesomeness of this plane is to book an AirAsia flight and paint the skies red using their brand spankin’ new Airbus A320neo.
Recap video of the AirAsia Airbus A320neo Welcoming Ceremony
You can check out this quick recap video I made of the entire Airbus A320neo Welcoming Ceremony of AirAsia below… Enjoy!
Congratulations, AirAsia. May you continue to be the industry leaders that you are and blaze a trail for others to follow.
But more than anything, I’d like to thank AirAsia for putting the environment, affordability and your customers’ needs ahead of profit.
I’d like to thank my awesome Philippines AirAsia family for flying me to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to witness this momentous occasion.
Philippines AirAsia increases flights between Kuala Lumpur and Manila
Starting October 2016, AirAsia Philippines will be increasing their flights between Kuala Lumpur and Manila to 3x a day. It’s the best time to fly to this amazing country and enjoy the many spectacular sights, sounds and delicious flavors that make Malaysia truly a must-visit.
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