Airbus has announced a new lower weight variant of its versatile A330-300 wide-body aircraft that is optimised for use on domestic and regional routes in high growth markets with large populations and concentrated traffic flows. China will be one of the most important markets for this new version of today’s world’s most efficient and reliable widebody aircraft. The announcement was made by Fabrice Bregier, President and CEO of Airbus, at the Aviation Expo China (Beijing Airshow) 2013, which has opened its doors on September 25th in Beijing. “The new lower weight A330-300 variant specially designed for regional and domestic use is Airbus’ solution for markets with large populations and fast growing, concentrated air traffic flows. Operators of the new A330-300 variant will benefit from a proven, mature and reliable aircraft that brings relief to limited airspace, airport congestion and pilot shortage,” said Fabrice Bregier. “We are announcing the new A330-300 lower weight variant in China because here we see strong pent-up demand for efficient and reliable wide-body aircraft connecting mega cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Guangzhou.” Compared to current A330-300 variants that are adapted to longer-range missions of up to 6,100 nautical miles (nm), the new A330-300 regional and domestic variant will be optimised to seat up to around 400 passengers in Airbus’ best in class 18 inches wide economy seat comfort on missions up to 3,000 nm and offer significant cost savings through a reduced operational weight of around 200 tonnes. The reduction in fuel burn per seat and maintenance costs thanks to these innovations will result in an overall cost reduction by up to 15% compared with today’s long-range A330-300 variants.