An A330neo in full Delta Air Lines livery has been seen taking its first test flight in the skies of Southern France. As the launch customer for the Airbus A330-900 in the US, Delta are understandably very excited by this next major milestone on the road to delivery of their aircraft.
Delta’s first A330neo has taken to the skies for its maiden flight. MSN1915 took off from the Airbus site at Toulouse yesterday morning, spending five hours and 46 minutes in the air. It returned to the airfield at 16:44 according to FlightRadar24.
Registered under test registration F-WWKF, the A330neo did a good bit of pootling around the south of France, undertaking some low level maneuvers to the Pyrenees and back, before heading out of the Bay of Biscay for some higher altitude testing.
This is a key milestone for Delta, with almost nothing left to do until delivery happens. Although we expected the test flight to take place a little sooner than this, you’ve got to admit it’s a glorious sight to see the A330neo in stunning Delta livery. Delta themselves were so proud they posted a video of the takeoff on their website for our viewing pleasure.
What can we expect from Delta’s A330neo?
Delta Air Lines have no less than 35 A330-900s on order. Some will be used to replace their 767s as they reach retirement age, while others will be put into service on new routes. Some of the first routes already planned for the aircraft include to Seoul in South Korea, Tokyo in Japan and Shanghai in China.
Delta will be the first North American operator of the A330neo, and they’re pulling out all the stops to make the customer experience awesome. According to the carrier, passengers can expect:
- A modern, luxurious interior with all four branded seat products – Delta One suites, Delta Premium Select, Delta Comfort+ and Main Cabin
- Thoughtful touches like in-seat power ports, full-spectrum LED ambient lighting, spacious overhead bins, and memory foam cushions throughout the aircraft for added comfort
- Thousands of hours of complimentary entertainment via seatback entertainment screens, powered by a new wireless IFE system from Delta Flight Products
- High-speed 2Ku internet connectivity, including free mobile messaging through iMessage, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger
In terms of configuration, the A330neo will have 281 seats which includes 168 main cabin seats, 56 extra legroom ‘Delta Comfort’ seats, 28 premium economy ‘Premium Select’ seats and, of course, those fabulous Delta One suites, of which there will be no less than 29.
So, when are Delta getting the A330neo?
The statement on Delta’s website says that they expect to receive the first aircraft in ‘late spring’. More specifically, AirlineGeeks have reported it’s expected in May. If you hadn’t noticed, it’s May right now, so we’re really looking at ANY DAY SOON!
In fact, ThePointsGuy goes as far as to say that the aircraft is expected to enter into service on June 1st, which is less than four weeks from now. It will initially be deployed on the Seattle to Shanghai route.
With nothing left to do but some last minute checks and a trip across the Atlantic, we fully expect to see Delta welcoming their first A330neo in a matter of days. Are you exited to see the A330neo in the US? Will you be flying to Shanghai on that maiden voyage? Let us know in the comments.