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10 September 2008

I Have a New Baby!

By Sheikh M. Shahrir

Er…no ladies, it’s not what you think. First of all, I am not married yet. Secondly, I should have written ‘AirAsia Has a New Baby’ as the title of this post. But somehow, a lot of people, including myself have always considered these planes to be our babies. After all, they are cute with that rounded nose at the front (in technical jargon, it’s called Radome).

Our 42nd Airbus A320 landed at 10.00am last week. We had a simple blessing ceremony conducted by an ustaz to officiate the arrival of our new baby. Anyway, here are the pictures of the plane, registered as 9M-AHP. Enjoy!

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Aircraft Turning.

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Marshaller signaling the pilots.

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9M-AHP ( 9 – Mike – Alpha – Hotel – Papa , that’s how we call it).

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AirAsia.

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Still wrapped with plastic. And the smell of the brand new leather is amazing.

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Flight Deck.

  • Eu Hon

    Just wondering how your baby arrive from Toulouse (If I am not wrong)??? If I remember correctly, it’s not possible for A320 family to fly all the way from Europe to SE Asia.

    Which route will this new plane serve?

  • Kee Keat

    A320 doesnt have the range cpacibility to fly direct from Toulouse to Malaysia, but, the aircraft can make technical refuelling stops along the way to reach Malaysia. Just imagine: it’s not that you can’t drive a Kancil from Johor Baru to Bukit Kayu Hitam or even Bangkok. U just need to make few refuelling stops along the journey, isn’t it? simple right…..

    I guessed the plane will be put into the existing pool of aircrafts in the fleet. so, there’s no direct answer on which route the plane will serve! But, I do agree that aircraft induction will bring either increased frequency on existing or introducing new routes.

  • Sheikh M. Shahrir

    Hey Tan,

    You are absolutely correct on that! There is no way the plane could fly from Toulouse to KL without stopping.

    For all our planes, they will depart from Toulouse (TLS) and head straight to Sharjah (SHJ), the third largest city in the United Arab Emirates. The flight will take an approximately 6 hours 20 minutes.

    Over there, the plane will be serviced and refueled during transit. A new set of flight crews will take over the flight for the second leg which is from SHJ to Kuala Lumpur (KUL). It will take an additional 6 hours 40 minutes to complete the journey.

    And yeah, it will be added into the current fleet. We will utilize all planes (new and not so new) equally every month to maximize aircraft and engine efficiency. Some routes have shorter sector and some are quite long. Thus today the aircraft might fly KL to Kota Bharu sector and tomorrow it might make a stop in Chiang Mai.

  • Yvonne

    Hey Sheikh,
    Cool post…
    Are the windows of the cockpit tinted? :)

  • Asfa

    Aweesoomee Baby..splash.splash!!XOX BDolphin

  • Sheikh M. Shahrir

    Yvonne,

    The window is not tinted. The pilots do have tinted plastic visors (just like what we have in the car, except a little bigger and see through) for the windshield and ‘roll-up’ tinted plastic blinds for the windows.

    So they have to wear sunglasses when they are flying not just to look cool but for practical reason. I also bring myself a pair of sunglasses whenever I’m flying with them inside the flight deck.

  • Chang Pong

    How much does a typical A320 cost? Approximately….

  • Katie

    It is fantastic. Just wish it flew from the Gold Coast.

  • Eu Hon

    The unit price published by Airbus for A320 series is around U$80 million. Not that expensive as some super rich guy is using A320/A319 for their personal jet.

    But I believe AirAsia got it cheaper. They are the largest customer by volume for A320.

  • Lee

    It’s AA planning to change all the aircraft @ Thailand from Old Boeing to Airbus A320 ????

  • Lucas

    How large is the seat? it’s look wide from the photo. What’s the seat width?

  • Satwinderjit Singh

    Bro,
    I am interested to join Air Asia as a Marshall. What is the procedure to join Air Asia as a Marshall?

    Hope to hear from you more.

    Thank you
    Regards,
    Satwin Hans

  • Ade Irma

    hi Bro,
    I am interested to join Air Asia as a GSA. may i know the procedure to join?

    Thank your ub advance