Airbus is developing a decentralised system for cabin oxygen which will be introduced on the A330 next year.
The new system features an individual 3,000psi oxygen cylinder incorporated into each overhead bay of three drop-down masks.
Airbus A330/340 chief engineer Christian Favre, speaking during an event at the airframer's Broughton facility, said the decentralisation would save 50kg in weight.
It would also cut maintenance costs by more than half, he adds.
The decentralised system has been developed for the A350 but will be introduced first on the A330, says Favre, "to gain experience".
He tells ATI that operators in the Himalayan region have been interested in the system - Nepal Airlines had been an early prospect - and that a Chinese carrier is being lined up as a first customer.
Favre states that the system will allow easy reconfiguration and retrofit by eliminating tubing in the cabin and fuselage.
Entry into service is planned for the third quarter of 2011.