The latest Airbus A330 variant has been certiied by the European Aviation Safety Agency. The A330-900neo passed the milestone in October and delivery of the first customer example, CS-TUA (msn 1819), to launch operator TAP Portugal was expected in the coming weeks. Airbus is also preparing TAP’s second example, CS-TUB (msn 1836), and the initial aircraft for several other early operators, including Air Mauritius, Azul Brazilian Airlines, WOW Air in Iceland and RwandAir in Africa.
The A330-900neo first lew on October 19, 2017. Two company aircraft, F-WTTE (msn 1795) and F-WTTN (msn 1813), were used in the aircraft’s 1,400-lying hour certiication testing programme. F-WTTE was used for handling, performance, systems and light control laws validation and F-WTTN for aerodynamic and engine performance, some systems, extended-range twin-engine operations and hot and high testing. Additionally, CS-TUA played a role in the testing by validating the cabin and undertaking route-proving lights to 12 countries.
Airbus says the A330-900neo ofers a 25% improvement in fuel burn on previous-generation aircraft of the same size and claims it will ofer the lowest seat-mile cost of an airliner with 300 seats. The aircraft features Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, a new 3D-optimised wing with sharklets and outitted with the Airspace cabin. Orders and deliveries data shows Airbus has sold 224 A330-900s. There are currently no conirmed orders for the smaller A330-800neo variant, although Uganda Airlines signed an agreement in the summer for two examples. The A330-800neo is due to ly in the fourth quarter.