i found out that a lot of airlines buy a330-200 instead of -300, like hawaiian airlines, air china and qantas. But why? are the -200 a lot cheaper than -300? or is that the range problem?
Usually the smaller varients of long haul planes have more range. That might be a reason.
Adding on to @Cole_Collins, sometimes there just isn’t the demand for the extra pax, and the smaller varient fits it better.
Normally the shorter variant is more popular however with the 777X, the -9 (which is longer) has over 100 more orders than the -8
Everything depends on what the airline requires for its mission. The only major differences between the -200 and -300 are range and passenger numbers, so, it really depends on what the airline needs and wants them for.
For example,in a high demand short/medium haul,the airlines might use a -300,but for a low demand long haul,the airline might use a -200. It just depends on the demand of the route.
The A330-200 had a LOT more range than the A330-300 especially when it came out. It is also a smaller aircraft that can serve smaller markets. The A330-300 eventually got MTOW increases allowing for a longer range.
The A330-300 used to be worse in terms of range compared to the -200. This could be why all of these airlines have them. Over time though, Airbus slowly modified the -300 to make it as good as the -200 in terms of range, hence why the A330-800[NEO] is failing with lack of orders.
A great example of this is Qantas the operate -300s to asia and other long hauls destinations and operate -200 on the sydney/melbourne to perth high demand medium/short haul routes
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