Saudi Arabian Airlines, the national carrier of Saudi Arabia, will become the first airline in the world to operate the new Airbus A330-300 Regional.
At the Paris Air Show 2015 on June 15, Saudia Arabian Airlines announced orders for 20 Airbus A330-300 Regional widebodies and 30 more Airbus A320s, becoming the launch customer for the A330-300 Regional.
The aircraft will join Saudi Arabian Airlines’ existing Airbus fleet of 12 A330-300s and 50 A320-family jets.
Passenger demand in Saudi Arabia is experiencing high growth both on domestic and regional routes, according to Airbus.
The new A330-300 Regional variant, which Airbus has designed for regional and domestic operations, is targeted at short-haul markets with large populations and fast-growing, concentrated air traffic flows.
According to Airbus, the A330-300 Regional is set to boost capacity on several of Saudi Arabian Airlines most in-demand routes.
“The A330-300 Regional’s unique flexibility, high capacity and operational capabilities will enable us to expand our domestic and regional network and better absorb growing passenger traffic,” says Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, director general of Saudi Arabian Airlines.
Its specification sees the A330-300 Regional optimized to seat up to 400 passengers, in 18-inch-wide economy seats, on missions up to 3,000 nautical miles (5,556 kilometers).
Airbus says that, by using a reduced operational weight of around 200 tonnes, the A330-300 Regional offers significant cost savings compared with higher-weight A330s.
It will offer reductions in fuel burn per seat and maintenance costs, which will result in an overall cost reduction by up to 26 per cent compared with the today’s long-range A330-300, according to Airbus.
In addition, the A330 Regional incorporates A350 XWB and A380 technologies.