PARIS - AirAsia has placed a firm order with Airbus worth US$ 18.5 billion at list prices for 200 A320neo aircraft. The contract, announced at the Paris Air Show today, is the largest order ever placed for the A320 Family and makes AirAsia the biggest airline customer for the Airbus single aisle product line worldwide. AirAsia's A320neo aircraft will be powered by CFM International’s new LEAP-X engines. Altogether, AirAsia has now placed firm orders for 375 A320 Family aircraft, with 89 already in service on the carrier's fast-growing pan-Asian network. In addition, the carrier's long haul affiliate AirAsia X is also an all-Airbus customer having placed orders for 38 widebody aircraft. Tan Sri Dr Tony Fernandes, Group Chief Executive Officer, AirAsia, said, “AirAsia is now the largest airline customer of Airbus. We were surprised to learn this, but we are proud of how far we’ve come in less than ten years of operations. This is an important milestone in our growth, and this solidifies our position as the world’s best low-cost airline. The new order is to cater to expansion plans in the Philippines [with Clark as its hub], Vietnam and other parts of Asia. We have the capacity to take up to 500 aircraft. AirAsia has been hugely successful, increasing its annual passenger volume from 200,000 when we launched it as a low-cost airline in 2001 to an estimated 31 million this year.” Incorporating new engines and large wing tip devices called Sharklets, Airbus says the A320neo will deliver fuel savings of 15% and additional range capability of 500 nautical miles (950 kilometers), or the ability to carry two tonnes more payload at a given range. For the environment, the fuel savings translate into some 3,600 tonnes less CO2 per aircraft per year. In addition, the A320neo will provide a double-digit reduction in NOx emissions and reduced engine noise. “With the introduction of the Airbus A320neo, AirAsia guests can look forward to more exciting routes from AirAsia as we can now explore more destinations with the enhanced range presented by the new-gen aircraft. We always believe in embracing technological advancements, and this new generation of Airbus A320neo aircraft will put us ahead of the competition and continue to be frontrunners in the volatile aviation industry,” added Tan Sri Dr. Tony Fernandes. AirAsia’s Airbus A320 aircraft are utilized on routes of up to 4 hours throughout its extensive route network covering 130 routes and 63 destinations in South East Asia, China, India and Australia via Bali, Indonesia.