April 16, 2018 / 8:43 AM / 7 months ago

AirAsia X won't buy "too expensive" Airbus A350: co-group CEO

SINGAPORE, April 16 (Reuters) - Malaysia’s AirAsia X Bhd has no plans to buy the Airbus SE A350 widebody jet, the airline’s co-group CEO said on Monday, despite the airline having 10 of them on order.

“The A350 is not an aircraft we will buy,” AirAsia X co-group CEO Tony Fernandes said in a Facebook Live chat from London. “Too expensive. Fares would go up.”

AirAsia X, the long-haul arm of AirAsia Bhd, placed a firm order for 10 A350s in June 2009. It later ordered 66 A330neos, an updated version of the A330s it has in its current fleet.

The A350-900 has a longer range but also comes with a higher list price of $317.4 million, compared with the $296.4 million price of the A330-900neo. Airlines typically receive large discounts from the list prices.

The AirAsia group is one of Airbus’ largest customers, but it has also been talking to Boeing Co about buying the rival 787-10 jet, according to a source familiar with the discussions.

A final decision on AirAsia X’s future fleet is expected later this year, the source said on condition of anonymity. The 787-10 has a list price of $325.8 million.

A spokeswoman for the AirAsia group did not have any immediate comment when contacted by Reuters. (Reporting by Jamie Freed in Singapore; Additional reporting by Joseph Sipalan in Kuala Lumpur; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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