Budget carrier Air Asia, which operates an exclusively Airbus fleet, does not plan to switch aircraft manufacturers despite a looming restructure which could lead to mass order cancellations.
“We love each other. Between us and Airbus, we’ve lots of ups and downs like any relationship but we’re joined at the hip,” Air Asia CEO Tony Fernandes told a Reuters conference audience.
Air Asia is one of Airbus’ largest customers, with a fleet of A320s, A321s, and A330s.
Last month, the financially troubled carrier cancelled an order of ten A350 aircraft, worth $3.2 billion at list prices, for its long-haul unit Air Asia X. The fate of its 108 other aircraft on order is still unknown, according to Reuters.
In a Malaysian court filing, Airbus warned it could suffer “substantial losses” if Air Asia goes ahead with its $15 billion restructuring plan to eliminate existing purchase commitments.
The restructure could also lead to a production review on Airbus’ A330neo programme, for which Air Asia is by far the largest customer, according to Bloomberg.
“Air Asia is an important customer and partner for Airbus. We remain in close discussions with the airline. Details are of course confidential,” said an Airbus spokesperson in a statement to Business Traveller.