AirAsiaX places $7.55b order for 25 Airbus A330s

PARIS (AFP) - Low-cost Malaysian airline AirAsia X announced Wednesday that it was ordering 25 long-range A330-300 aircraft with a catalogue price of nearly US$6 billion (S$7.55 billion).

Airbus said at a joint press conference in Paris it was the biggest single order for the widebody twin-engine aircraft from an airline, and would begin delivering the planes to the long-haul affiliate of the AirAsia group in 2015.

The order includes the latest version of the A330-300 capable of flying from Asia to Europe or the Americas non-stop.

"This order stamps our firm intent to dominate the long-haul, low-cost carrier space and marks the next phase in our development to be the undisputed global market leader," AirAsia X's director Tony Fernandes was quoted as saying in a statement.

AirAsia X already operates 16 A330-300 aircraft on routes from Kuala Lumpur to Asian and Middle Eastern destinations.

AirAsia X is one of Airbus' biggest clients, with several hundred aircraft on order.

In June 2011 the Malaysian company ordered 200 A320 Neo planes with a catalogue price of US$18.24 billion, one of the biggest ever orders of commercial aircraft.

It has also ordered 10 of Airbus' future long-range aircraft, the A350-XWB.