Lightweight A330-300 Still Leaves Short-Range Gap

By Bradley Perrett
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology

Employing A330-300s strictly on short routes would be difficult for even Asia's biggest budget carriers, such as the Air Asia group. One of its member companies, AirAsia X, does fly -300s, but its mission is mainly to address destinations that A320s cannot reach from its Kuala Lumpur base. The A330s of Qantas group budget carrier Jetstar are similarly employed, flying from Australia but rarely within it.

The awkwardness of integrating so large an aircraft with narrowbody fleets again suggests that a large-capacity, moderate-range aircraft is needed. The A310 and 757 were dropped instead of reengined. With today's general upward drift in demanded aircraft size, and high fuel prices that punish excess weight, they may have been popular if given a second chance.