AirAsia has become the ninth operator of the Airbus A330-900, receiving its first of 66 examples on August 10. The low-cost airline giant, which has 270 aircraft spread across eight airlines in six countries, has placed its maiden A330neo with Thai AirAsia X.
Leased from Avolon, the jet, HS-XJB (c/n 1903), was expected to enter service on August 14 linking Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport with Tokyo/Narita. It is the first of two aircraft scheduled to join the carrier’s fleet by the end of the year, supporting the airline’s operations in South Korea, Australia, Japan and China.
AirAsia has configured the airliner with the same two-class interior found on its 36 A330-300s, accommodating 365 economy class and 12 business class passengers. Prior to the delivery of Lion Air’s first A330-900 on July 19, these were the highest density A330s in service. However, both these and Lion Air’s single class, 436-seat jets will be surpassed by the 16 16 A330-900s ordered by Cebu Pacific at the International Paris Air Show in June which it plans to deploy with 460 economy class seats.