Business Secretary Vince Cable has welcomed news that the Malaysian airline AirAsia X has placed a firm order with Airbus for 25 more A330-300s – the largest A330 order received by Airbus in a single purchase agreement
AirAsia X, the long haul affiliate of the AirAsia Group, will start taking delivery of its newly-ordered planes in 2015 as it begins a major expansion of its network across the Asia-Pacific region.
Vince Cable said: “The growth of air travel across Asia represents an important opportunity for Britain’s world leading aerospace industry and one of our most successful companies – Airbus – are seizing it.
“The UK manufactures some of the most complex parts of these planes and this new order will safeguard highly skilled manufacturing jobs in the company and its suppliers based all around the UK.
“The Government’s industrial strategy is giving business the confidence to invest – creating more high skilled, long term jobs in the UK. We’re working together with the aerospace industry to deliver a long term plan, backed by £2 billion joint investment, which will cement the global position of British aerospace and build a stronger economy here in the UK.”
AirAsia X currently operates 16 A330-300s on services linking its Kuala Lumpur base to destinations in Asia, the Middle East and the Pacific. In addition to A330s, the carrier also has 10 A350-XWB aircraft on order for future delivery.
In a separate announcement, Airbus said it had signed a memorandum of understanding with EGTS International, a joint venture company between the technology firms Safran and Honeywell Aerospace, to further develop and evaluate an autonomous electric pushback and taxiing solution for the A320 Family.
The agreement marks the selection of EGTS International’s Electric Green Taxiing System to be evaluated as a new option on the A320 Family – referred to by Airbus as eTaxi. This option would allow the aircraft to push-back from the gate without a tug, taxi-out to the runway, and return to the gate after landing without operating the main engines.
Copyright Ken Hurst 2013