Airbus has delivered its first A330-300 Regional – a new variation of the twin-aisle passenger jet designed for high volume domestic and short-haul routes.
The aircraft, which was first announced in 2013, has a higher seat capacity and lower weight, making it more efficient to operate on short hops of up to 5,000km, or five hours flying time.
Saudi Arabian Airlines has become the launch customer for the new aircraft, having placed an order for 20 A330-300 Regionals at the 2015 Paris Airshow. These aircraft will join Saudia’s existing fleet of 12 A330-300s.
“We are excited to welcome the first A330-300 Regional to our fast-expanding Airbus fleet. It is a step forward in recognising our commitment to a family of aircraft which has contributed immensely to our market growth. The advantage of operating the new regional version of such a popular aircraft with proven operational flexibility and lowest cost per seat means unbeatable economics for our business and our customers,” said Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, Saudia’s director general.
The A330-300 Regional was initially designed for high-volume domestic markets such as China and India, although no carriers in these countries have so far placed orders for the model.