Tuesday, April 24, 2007

FAX buying 10 Airbus planes for US$2.5b

Fly Asian Xpress (FAX) will place an order for 10 Airbus A330-300s, with an option for five more, costing about US$2.5bil, chief executive officer Raja Mohd Azmi Raja Razali said.

He said the first new aircraft was scheduled for delivery in the fourth quarter next year and the rest would be fully delivered by 2011.

Azmi said the acquisitions would be financed via bank borrowing and equity.

The catalogue price of the aircraft was US$175mil each, said AirAsia Bhd group chief executive officer Datuk Tony Fernandes, who has a 10% stake in FAX. He did not reveal the actual cost of the deal.

“Over the next five years, we target to have more than twenty A330-300s and carry 7.5 million passengers in and out of Malaysia,” Azmi said at the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Airbus and FAX yesterday. The event was witnessed by Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy.

From left: Airbus chief operating officer - customers John Leahy, Datuk Tony Fernandes, Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy and Raja Mohd Azmi Raja Razali at the signing ceremony
FAX is the operator of a new long-haul, low-cost airline. The carrier, launched in January, has franchised the AirAsia brand and aims to cover flight destinations that take more than four hours.

Azmi said the airline’s focus was Japan, South Korea, China, India, Australia, the Middle East and a few routes in Europe.

He said FAX planned to start operations by September using leased aircraft.

“We will start with two or three destinations from Kuala Lumpur,” he said, adding that the airline “intended to fly everywhere.

Fernandes said FAX may also operate the long-haul services from Penang, Sabah and Johor Baru.

Source : STAR
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