The Airbus A330neo widebody aircraft has proved popular with airlines since its first appearance at the Farnborough Airshow in 2014. It offers airlines improved economics and fuel efficiency over the previous A330-200 and A330-300ceo generation. Here we’ll take a look at the aircraft and which airlines have it in their fleet or have placed orders.
The A330-900 takes to the skies
The A330-900 has a range of 13,334km (7,200 nautical miles) with a typical three-class seating capacity of 260 to 300 passengers. Two Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines power the A330neo. The latest variant, which made its first flight in February, has an increased maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 251 tonnes.
The smaller A330-800neo offers a more extended range of 15,094km (8150nm) and a capacity of 220 to 260 passengers. Airbus expects to make the first deliveries of the 800 this year.
The A330-900 made its maiden flight on October 19, 2017, and Airbus has since delivered 46 of the aircraft and, as of July, this year has orders for 318 more. TAP Air Portugal took delivery of the first A330-900 on November 26, 2018, and it made its first commercial flight on December 15 from Lisbon, Portugal, to São Paulo, Brazil.
Airlines flying the A330neo
According to Planespotters.net, the following airlines currently feature the A330neo in their fleets, although some are in storage:
Air Mauritius has two A330-900s in its 13 strong fleet, which also features ATR 42/72s, Airbus A319s, A340s, and A350s.
Air Senegal’s fleet of seven aircraft has two A330-900s alongside its ATR 42-72s, A319s, and a single Boeing 737.
Aircalin has two A330-900s, although it returned one to Airbus due to a strong smell of oil in the cabin. The aircraft has since been redelivered and will be used on routes, including Noumea to Osaka.
Azul currently operates two A330-900s. It has a further three on order, but the airline has deferred orders with Airbus and Embraer for at least four years.
Citilink’s 62 strong fleet features two A330-900s, the first of which operated the route between Surabaya and Jeddah in January this year.
Delta Air Lines currently has five A330-900s and has placed orders for 30 more to add to its fleet of 840 aircraft.
Garuda Indonesia operates three A330-900s in its fleet of 142 planes and has three more on order.
Hi Fly’s all-Airbus fleet of 19 aircraft includes one A330-900, while Hi Fly Malta also has one among its fleet of 13.
Lion Air of Indonesia has 10 A330s, including four 900s alongside its 131 Boeing 737s.
Orbest became the third Portuguese airline after TAP and Hi Fly to operate the A330-900 after recently adding one to the A330-300 it already had.
TAP Air Portugal is the biggest customer for the A330-900, with 19 of the aircraft on its 108 strong fleet.
Thai AirAsia has a 14 strong fleet of A330s, including two 900s.
In addition to those already flying the A330-900, AirAsia of Malaysia has placed orders for three. Israeli airline, Arkia, has ordered one, as has Corsair of France. Kuwait Airways has placed an order for two A330-800s, while RwandAir has two 900s on order, as has Thai Lion Air.
Additionally, Air Greenland entered a three-digit million agreement for the delivery of a new A330-800neo, which is expected to be in service from 2021. Finally, Uganda Airlines has ordered one A330-800 to join its four Bombardier CRJ-900s.
Have you flown on the Airbus A330neo? If so, what was your first impression?