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AirAsia X could put Wi-fi and 3D on its 50 new Airbus A330neo

July 17, 2014 Aviation, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Malaysia-based budget carrier AirAsia X will be the first customer to receive the new Airbus A330neo and will almost certainly fly the fuel-efficient aircraft to Australia.

The initials neo stand for new engine option and the aircraft is a revamped version of the popular Airbus A330 wide-body twin-engine passenger jet. AirAsia X is ordering 50 of the new planes.

Airbus says 3D movies will be possible on the new plane, according to UK publication The Register. The planemaker is promising “full connectivity” as well as an in-flight entertainment system that can show 3D films thanks to a “fourth generation” in-flight entertainment system. If those promises Airbus image of A330neo in flightaccord with those made about the A350neo’s in-flight entertainment system, HD (high-definition) video, Wi-Fi and mobile telephony should all be available in the air.

The AirAsiaX order, announced earlier this week at the Farnborough Airshow in England by AirAsia head and co-founder Tony Fernandes, came shortly after European planemaker Airbus confirmed at the same show that it would go ahead with the A330neo project.

Airbus will sell revamped versions of its A330 powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines. The main gain: 14% greater fuel economy. The aircraft will also have space for up to 10 more seats in the cabin, plus longer wings with new, more aerodynamic wingtips.

AirAsia X signed a memorandum of understanding for 50 A330-900neo aircraft at Farnborough, worth around USD 13.75 billion at list prices. AirAsia X is due to take delivery of the aircraft from 2018.

Fernandes said AirAsia had been encouraging Airbus to launch the new A330 version for some time. The airline was “100% sure that the A330neo will be quite unbeatable in its size category”.

The new aircraft will sharpen AirAsia X’s competitive edge against rivals like Jetstar International and Singapore Airlines-owned Scoot.

Australia is likely to see the A330neo flying in later this decade from at least three Asian countries. How many of them will screen 3D movies in flight is anyone’s guess.

Written by : Peter Needham

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