Airbus Records AirAsia X A330neo Cancellation

AirAsia X A330
Credit: Tengku Bahar / AFP / Getty Images

MANCHESTER, England―Airbus recorded cutbacks of its largest A330-900 order in the European OEM’s March orders and deliveries statement, leading to a major reduction in the official backlog for the type.

The March figures show a mere 15 A330-900s on firm order for AirAsia X. The Malaysia-based long-haul LCC had previously been listed for 78 of the aircraft but had long told Airbus that it no longer wants nearly as many of them. The airline also cut back a more recent order for 30 A321XLRs to just 20 of the type. The 10 are part of 63 A321neos that have been canceled by several customers since the beginning of 2022.

Barcelona-based Vueling, part of the International Airlines Group (IAG), canceled three A321neos. Taiwan-based Starlux Airlines switched the last eight A350-1000s on firm order to the smaller -900.

The backlog adjustment means that Airbus now has 193 firm orders remaining for the A330-900, which was the best-selling widebody aircraft in 2021 in an otherwise extremely quiet market. The type benefited from new orders from ITA Airways and Condor for 10 and seven aircraft, respectively. However, the backlog still includes an Iran Air order for 28 aircraft that are unlikely to be delivered any time soon given the economic sanctions currently in place.

Airbus added 100 firm orders from two undisclosed customers for the A320neo family in March. Of these orders, 41 were for the A321neo. A private customer ordered a single A320neo.

The manufacturer delivered 22 A320neos, 27 A321neos, five A220s, three A330s and six A350s during the month.

Jens Flottau

Based in Frankfurt, Germany, Jens is executive editor and leads Aviation Week Network’s global team of journalists covering commercial aviation.