Saudia has become the launch customer for the new Airbus A330-300 Regional sub-variant.
The first aircraft is HZ-AK11 (cn 1724).
The aircraft is the first of the 20 A330-300 Regional aircraft ordered at the 2015 Paris Airshow, and joins Saudi Arabian Airlines’ existing Airbus fleet of 12 A330-300s and 50 A320 Family aircraft. Specially optimized for regional and domestic operations, the A330-300 Regional will boost capacity on several of Saudi Arabian Airlines’ most in-demand routes, enabling the airline to generate additional efficiency while offering its passengers an unprecedented comfort level. The A330-300 Regional also represents the lowest-cost alternative and easiest fleet addition due to its high commonality with the A330s already operated by Saudi Arabian Airlines.
Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser Director General Saudi Arabian Airlines, said: “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.”
Saudi Arabian Airlines will lease the A330-300 Regional fleet from the International Air Finance Corporation (IAFC), a leading lessor in the Middle East.
The A330-300 Regional is optimized for missions up to 2,700 nm (5-hour flight) covering short to medium haul routes and offers significant cost savings through a reduced operational weight of around 200 tons. The reduction in fuel burn per seat and maintenance costs will result in an overall cost reduction of around 20% compared with today’s long-range A330-300.