Scandinavian Airlines is the first European airline to receive the new A330-300 242-tonne Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) variant, Airbus reported on Monday 21 September. The aircraft was delivered to the airline during a ceremony held at Airbus in Toulouse, France. SAS has selected Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines to power its new A330-300.
Launched in 2012, the increased take-off weight A330-300 incorporates a new aerodynamic package, engine improvements and an optional centre fuel tank. These upgrades allow for an extended range of up to 6,100 nautical miles while offering up to 2 percent less fuel burn. Delta Airlines earlier in 2015 was the first airline to use the longer range aircraft.
“As first European operator of the 242-tonne A330-300, we look forward to seeing SAS enjoy the additional benefits delivered by this innovative aircraft’ said Christopher Buckley, Executive Vice President, Africa, Europe and Asia Pacific. “This longer-range A330 will fit seamlessly into SAS’s current fleet alongside their current A330s, and will pave the way for their A350s in the future. The A330s higher take-off weight allows the airline to fly new Asian routes, with an operational reliability of well over 99 percent. SAS’s passengers will be able to experience the best-in-class cabin comfort that only Airbus offers.”
Scandinavian Airlines currently operates 25 A320 family aircraft, plus four A330-300s and eight A340s. In addition, 30 A320neos are still to be delivered to SAS, along with another three A330-300s and eight A350-900 ordered in 2013.
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.
The first 242 tonne Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) variant of the A330 successfully completed its maiden flight on Monday 12 January, landing back in Toulouse-Blagnac Airport following a 3 hours and 30 minutes flight.
The A330 242 tonne MTOW is the platform for the future A330neo and is concrete example of Airbus’ incremental innovation strategy. The newest enhancement offers more capability at lower operating cost with a range extended by up to 500 nautical miles and up to two percent reduced fuel consumption while also benefiting from operational reliability of above 99 percent. The 242 tonne MTOW is capable of flying missions up to 15 hours.
Didier Evrard, Airbus Executive Vice President Head of Programmes said: “We are on track to deliver this new higher weight variant in 2015 to launch customer Delta Air Lines, who will also be the launch customer for the A330neo.”
Delta Air Lines has placed a firm order for 50 new Airbus widebody aircraft, 25 A350-900 and 25 A330-900neo aircraft, as reported on Thursday 20 November. Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines will power the Airbus A330neo aircraft and Trent XWB engines will power Airbus A350 XWB aircraft.
“When the most successful U.S. airline today says ‘yes, we want 50 more of your widebody planes’, you can’t debate the fact that it is a massive endorsement of your product line,” said John Leahy, Airbus’ chief operating officer.”
Delta Air Lines currently flies 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 the order announced today, Delta has an order backlog of 10 A330-300s and 45 A321ceo aircraft, bringing its total Airbus backlog to 105 aircraft.
Delta has placed an order with Airbus for 15 A321ceo aircraft to replace older airliners, it was announced on Monday 2 June. The airline has selected CFM56-5B engines from CFM International to power the newly ordered A321ceo aircraft, which are scheduled for delivery starting in 2018. Production of these fresh Airbus aircraft is to take place in Mobile, Alabama.
Among other types, Delta currently operates 126 A320 family aircraft and 32 A330s. The order announced today brings Delta’s backlog to 45 single-aisle Airbus A321 and 10 widebody Airbus A330 aircraft.
All of Delta’s A321s will feature fuel-saving sharklets – lightweight composite wingtip devices that offer 4 percent fuel-burn savings. This environmental benefit gives the airline the option of extending its range up to 100 nautical miles/185 kilometers or increasing payload capacity by some 1000 pounds/450 kilograms.
Many of Delta’s A321s will be delivered from Airbus’ brand-new A320 Ffmily assembly line, currently under construction in Mobile, Alabama. Hiring is underway at the facility, and aircraft assembly will begin there next year. By 2017, the Mobile facility is expected to produce four aircraft per month.