The A330-200, the shorter-fuselage variant of Airbus’ A330 twin-engine wide body family, has won EASA certification, some five months after the larger A330-300 earned certification from European authorities, Airbus announced on Tuesday. The company has expressed confidence that approval from the U.S. authorities would follow. Launched in 2012, the increased-takeoff-weight A330-200 and A330-300 incorporate a new aerodynamic package, engine improvements and, in the -300 version, an optional center fuel tank which not only furthers the distance at which it can travel but also cut down precious refueling time. The range of the new A330-200 is increased by up to 350 nautical miles/650 kilometers compared to today’s 238 ton model, allowing customers to fly missions up to 7,250 nm/ 13,400 km. Thanks to aerodynamic refinements and engine enhancements, the A330-200 will reduce its fuel consumption by nearly two percent.
Eric Zanin, Airbus Head of the A330 Program said, With this new 242t A330-200, our customers will benefit from even more range plus a proven 99.4 percent reliability, while offering their passengers best-in-class comfort. Its unbeatable operating costs and unique versatility make the A330 Family a highly competitive solution in the medium to long haul market.
Airbus’ continuous investment in the A330 Family benefits the Airbus A330-200 version by lowering costs and improving operations. This includes system upgrades and enhancements, the introduction of advanced navigation aids and new-generation flight instrumentation, and engine upgrades. The company bills the new, heavier-takeoff-weight A330 as the basis for the A330neo, launched at last year’s Farnborough Air Show and scheduled for first delivery to Delta Air Lines in the fourth quarter of 2017. In May, Delta also took the first 242-metric-ton A330-300, making it the first of 11 customers to receive the option. Airbus would not identify the first operator of the A330-200 242t, citing its policy to allow the customer to decide when to make the announcement.
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