Saudi Arabia is the first customer of Airbus's A330 regional medium-haul passenger jet, the European planemaker announced at the Paris Air Show on Monday.
"We are very pleased about this order. We are talking about 20 A330s in a regional version. This is something we promoted about 18 months ago, starting with China, and is dedicated to short regional missions with high-density traffic," Airbus CEO Fabrice Bregier told CNBC on the side lines of the show.
"You know that in Saudi there is a huge requirement for additional flights. This is this first application and we are delighted."
In addition to the Middle East, there is also likely to be strong demand for the A330 from Southeast Asia, Bregier said.
"One big constraint for transportation is the slots constraint at an airport level; so an A330 is very reliable and can transport twice the number of passengers. This is extremely powerful to maintain the growth of traffic without extending the size of the airport," he said.