The first 242-tonne Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) variant of the A330-300 was delivered on 28 May to Delta Air Lines. The US airline is the first of 11 customers to receive the type, with Delta having chosen GE CF6-80E1 engines to power it.
Launched in 2012 the increased take-off weight A330-200 and A330-300 incorporate a new aerodynamic package, engine improvements and an optional centre fuel tank (the latter for the A330-300 version). These upgrades on the A330-300 allow for an extended range of up to 6,100 nautical miles while offering up to 2 percent fuel consumption reduction. Since April 2015 the aircraft has been certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), with the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) following in May.
Delta Air Lines, Airbus’ biggest A330 customer in North America, flies currently both Airbus single-aisle and widebody aircraft, including 57 A319ceo and 69 A320ceo aircraft, plus 11 A330-200s and 21 A330-300s. In addition to nine more A330-300s and 45 A321ceos still to be delivered to Delta, the airline ordered 25 A350-900 and 25 A330-900neo Airbus widebody aircraft last year.
Featured image: On 28 May 2015, Delta Air Lines became the first customer to take delivery of the enhanced 242-tonne maximum take-off weight A330-300 variant, which allows for longer flights at lower costs (Image © P. Pigeyre / Master Films / Airbus S.A.S.)