Airbus pitches A330neo in China, but cool on regional A330

Airbus has confirmed it has pitched its A330neo series to Chinese carriers, but has been less aggressive about its proposed regional A330 variant.

Speaking during a presentation at the recent ISTAT Asia event in Singapore, Airbus senior vice president leasing markets Andrew Shankland says that a number of pitches for the re-engined widebody are underway.

“We’re in the process of discussing the aircraft with customers all over the world including those in China,” he says, but would not give any further detail about those discussions.

Despite the seemingly slow rate of orders for the neo variants since they were launched at the 2014 Farnborough air show, Shankland maintains that there will be more orders this year as the aircraft gets closer to service entry in late 2017.

Asked separately about the regional variant of the A330ceo that Airbus has targeted at Chinese carriers as a way of addressing airport congestion, he says that it remains “an opportunity for an aircraft derivative.”

“It’s out there for the market to take the aircraft if they wish to, but just to highlight that at the end of the day it’s physically the same airplane,” he adds.

The regional version is intended to carry more passengers by adding one more seat to the standard 8-abreast configuration to lower unit costs, while also reducing the certificated takeoff weight. To date, no carriers have publicly expressed an interest in the regional option.