AirAsia, the region's fastest growing low cost carrier, has signed a contract for 40 more A320 Family aircraft, and taken another 30 on option. This brings their total orders for the Airbus Single Aisle Family to 100. A total of seven A320s are currently in service with AirAsia.

Over time they will completely replace the Boeing 737-300 fleet currently operated by the AirAsia Group, which comprises AirAsia in Malaysia, Thai AirAsia in Thailand and AirAsia Indonesia. All A320 aircraft will be configured with 180 seats.

"The A320 has heralded a new era for AirAsia. The sophistication of these aircraft has enhanced our image and brand and enabled us to capture a wider market segment than previously. The superiority of the A320s in terms of fuel burn, maintenance requirements, increased capacity, wider cabin and larger cargo payload, has allowed us to have greater operational efficiency, while ensuring that our cost optimization program remains as the lowest in the world," said Datuk Tony Fernandes, Group CEO, AirAsia Berhad.

AirAsia is one of many low cost carriers (LCC) from the Asia-Pacific region to introduce A320 Family aircraft, with 12 LCC from Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, Philippines and Singapore already having the aircraft in service. More than 520 Airbus A320 Family aircraft are in service with 39 airlines in Asia-Pacific, with total orders from the region now close to 1,000 aircraft. The A320 Family has a widespread reputation for high dispatch reliability on short hops, with wide aisles facilitating quick turnarounds for efficient operations.

"Over the past years, the A320 Family has proven to be the outstandingly popular choice with both start-up and established low-cost carriers in the Asia Pacific region, and I am delighted that the popularity of the A320 with AirAsia and its discerning passengers has resulted in this latest vote of confidence in the aircraft. With its superb economics and high passenger appeal, the A320 is winner that will further spur AirAsia’s success," said Mr Christian Streiff, President and CEO of Airbus.

The A320 is a member of Airbus' single-aisle Family, comprising the A318, A319, A320 and A321 and has a seat capacity between 107 and 220 seats. It is the fastest selling aircraft family with over 4,300 sold so far. This Family offers a range of essential benefits to low cost airlines: Wider aisles and full-scale service doors, as well as a bigger, more accessible cargo area enabling faster turnaround times. Furthermore the A320 Family aircraft are equipped with the biggest overhead storage space in their class for more convenient storage of modern roll-aboard luggage.

Airbus is an EADS joint company with BAE Systems.