Air Asia has announced that it is interested in placing an order for 100 Bombardier CSeries CS300 jets in a 160-seat configuration.
The airline currently has a low-cost fleet of Airbus A320s, and the CSeries CS300 will supplement its fleet.
Tony Fernandes, AirAsia director, said,
We are taking this very seriously. It is an impressive aircraft and we have good feeling about it. The crew and engineers are very happy about it as well. The advantage is that the CSeries can get into a lot of airports to which we currently do not have access. And there is the price, and this looks like it could be a very affordable aircraft. We are a very big Airbus customer and so this is a very big decision.
The Bombardier CSeries is a family of narrow-body, twin-engine, medium-range jet airliners that are currently being developed by Canadian airplane manufacturer, Bombardier Aerospace.
Fernandes said they will need to ascertain that the aircraft’s operating costs are suitable to the airline. He added,
We live and die by cost and that will be crucial, but we also hope that Pratt & Whitney, who are supplying the engines, will be as enthusiastic as Bombardier about this aircraft.
There are two variants for the aircraft, namely the 110-seat known as CS100, and the 130-seat known as CS300. The first CSeries CS300 flight will be in December 2012, and delivery of the first aircraft will be in 2013.
Bombardier Aerospace is the third largest airplane manufacturer in the world after Boeing and Airbus.