Higher-weight A330-300 to be offered as retrofit

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Airbus is to offer a retrofit option for a higher-weight A330-300, having tweaked new-build airframes to provide a maximum take-off capability of 235t.

The manufacturer began offering the 235t weight variant, known as WV54, last year but had not planned a retrofit.

But a presentation by executive vice-president for programmes Tom Williams, given in Toulouse on 23 May, showed that Airbus would offer the retrofit from the third quarter of this year.

Several customers have already opted for the higher-weight variant: Williams' presentation listed Air China, China Southern Airlines, Swiss International Air Lines and TUI Group among them.

The enhancement, a 2t increase on the previous maximum of 233t on the WV52 version, brings extra payload and range to the type.

Airbus previously raised the maximum take-off weight of its A330-200 to 238t, and offers the version as a retrofit.

Retrofit customers for the type include China Eastern Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines, as well as an unannounced client.