Whilst a lot of eyes yesterday were on the first delivery to Aeroflot of an Airbus A350, an interesting bit of news was released about the A330neo – with a new variant of the A330-900neo making its first flight
Airbus A330-900neo (with higher Maximum Take-Off Weight) taking off for the first time – Image, Airbus
This variant of the Airbus A330-900neo has an increased maximum take-off weight (MTOW) – which increases MTOW to 251 tonnes.
The upshot of this means that this variant of the A330neo offers a 650-nautical mile boost in the range – or six tonnes more payload – when compared to the A330neo’s current 242-tonne version.
Airbus has developed this variant to the market, with airlines able to take advantage of the A330neo with a longer range than before.
The airframer envisages this type would be perfect for longer trans-Pacific or Asia-Europe routes.
Here’s a handy infographic.
The A330neo family is split into the payload optimised A330-900neo (seating 260-300 passengers in a typical three-class cabin configuration), whilst A330-800neo is aimed range optimised routes (holding 220-260 passengers in a three-class configuration).
The path to certification
The increased take-off weight A330-900 is expected to be certified by airworthiness authorities mid-2020, followed in 2021 by the A330-800 variant. In terms of commonality, Airbus has retained 99% spares commonality for these A330neo versions.
Upgrading a workhorse
Whilst the A330 doesn’t get the limelight that the A350 does (or the A380 did), it is an important component of many fleets – for example, TAP Portugal is renewing its fleet with the type, whilst airlines such as Delta and Air Asia X are introducing the type with their existing A330 fleets.
For many, the A330 family is a workhorse, that takes passengers from A to B and one I’ve found that is very comfortable when configured correctly – even in Economy Class.
Those airlines that are looking for the extra range – whilst not willing to jump to the A350 might find a suitable candidate for their mid to long haul fleets here.
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