Toulouse - Airbus prepares to increase the MTOW of the A330neo to 251 tonnes. The MTOW option, which will be available from 2020, will provide the A330-800 and A330-900 648 nm (1200 km) more coverage.

Four percent increase in MTOW (Maximum Take-off Weight) means that the A330-900 can fly 7,200nm (13,334 km) and the shorter version A330-800 8150 nm (15,090 km).

Some customers of the European manufacturer have convinced Airbus for the technically complex modification stage, which requires reinforcement of the landing gears and wings as well as the more powerful brakes an tires.

AirAsia X is one of these customers. Non-stop flights from Kuala Lumpur to London will be available from 2020 with the new version of the A330neo said Fabrice Bergier, Chief Operating Officer of Airbus.

In addition to the Malaysian carrier AirAsia X, other airline operators from Asia are also interested in the MTOW option, according to Airbus.

Airbus has recorded 214 orders so far for the A330-900. The only customer for the A330-800, Hawaiian Airlines, broke away from a contract for six aircraft last month and switched to the Boeing 787-9.

According to insiders, Airbus considers designing a freighter version of the A330-900 to boost sales.