AirAsia  achieved its goal of adding 22 more aircraft to its fleet by Dec. 31, 2017 as the multinational LCC group ramps up its growth.

Group CEO Tony Fernandes outlined the fleet expansion targets in August and November. An AirAsia spokeswoman said the goal of a year-on-year net increase of 22 aircraft for 2017 was met, boosting the group’s fleet of Airbus narrowbodies to 196.

The group includes the core Malaysia operation, as well as joint ventures and affiliates in Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Japan and India.

The 2017 increase was the group’s highest growth rate in the past four years, following a period of consolidation. AirAsia is planning to add another 33 Airbus narrowbodies in 2018, with aircraft allocated throughout the group.

AirAsia intends to increase its group fleet size to 500 aircraft by 2027, which will require the net addition of about 30 aircraft per year for the next decade. Fernandes said he is confident this rate can be achieved or exceeded, particularly since the carrier intends to set up new associate airlines in Vietnam and China.

AirAsia has 400 Airbus narrowbody aircraft on order, according to the Aviation Week Network’s fleet database.

Adrian Schofield/Aviation Daily