Saudi Arabian Airlines, the national carrier of Saudi Arabia, has taken delivery of its first A330-300 Regional, making it the launch customer for the latest member of the A330 family. Specially optimized for regional and domestic operations, the aircraft is the first of the 20 A330-300 Regional aircraft ordered at the 2015 Paris Air Show, and joins Saudi Arabian Airlines’ existing Airbus fleet of 12 A330-300s and 50 A320 Family aircraft.
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 2,700nm (5-hour flight) covering short- to medium-haul routes and offers significant cost savings through a reduced operational weight of around 200 tons and a high-density cabin layout (400 seats). According to Airbus, reduced 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.
China is the only other customer to date for the A330-300 Regional — which was formally unveiled at Aviation Expo China in 2014 — with orders for an as yet unspecified number of aircraft.