Airbus A330-900 gets 285-min ETOPS approval

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Airbus A330-900 flying display on Day 1 of Farnborough 2018. (Airbus)

Airbus says its A330-900 widebody has received regulatory approval {to operate|to work|to use} up to 285 minutes {from a|from the|from your} suitable landing field.

The extended twin engine aircraft operations (ETOPS) certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) means the A330-900 can be flown on a route that keeps it within four hours and 45 minutes flying time {on a single|on one|about the same} engine from an alternate airport in the event of an engine failure.

Airbus said {the extension|recognized} of ETOPS approvals to 285 minutes, from 180 minutes previously, represented {a potential|any} air diversion distance {of about|of approximately|of around} 2, 000nm. The airframer said a similar approval {from the|from your|through the} United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was expected soon.

The 285-minute ETOPS {would be|will be|can be} available as an option for A330-900 operators.

“ A330neo operators which {choose the|select the|pick the} ETOPS 285 min. option will be able to serve new direct ‘ non-limiting’ routings, ” Airbus said in a statement in late January.

“ Meanwhile, operators flying on existing routes (currently flown with up to 180-minute diversion time) will be able to traverse a straighter, quicker and more fuel efficient path, and also have {access to|entry to|use of} more – and possibly better equipped – en-route diversion airports if needed. ”

TAP Portugal became the first airline to take delivery of the A330neo family of aircraft after accepting A330-900 CS-TUB at Airbus’ headquarters in Toulouse {in late|at the end of} November.

The airline has 21 A330-900s on order. It has configured the aircraft with 34 business class seats, 96 economy plus seats and 168 economy class seats for a total of 298.

Airbus has delivered the first A330-900 to launch customer TAP Portugal. (Airbus)

Airbus has delivered {the first|the very first|the initial} A330-900 to launch customer TAP Portugal. (Airbus)

Launched at the Farnborough Airshow in 2014 , the A330neo is powered by new Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines and has a larger wing with “ Sharklet” wingtips {to reduce|to lessen|to minimize} fuel consumption.

The type also features new composite nacelles, a fully faired titanium pylon and zero-splice air inlet technology.

The A330neo {is also|can also be|is additionally} the launch aircraft for Airbus’ s “ AirSpace by Airbus ” cabin concept which features larger overhead compartments, wider seats and aisles and new lighting, a “ welcome area” and removal of the inflight entertainment box taking up legroom {under the|underneath the|beneath the} seat in front.

There are two A330neo variants – the A330-800 {is the|may be the|will be the} replacement for the A330-200, {while the|as the|even though the} A330-900 is the replacement for {the larger|the bigger} A330-300.

{There is|There is certainly|There exists} 95 per cent commonality {between the|between|involving the} A330neo and current A330 variants. It also shares {a common|a typical|a} pilot type rating {with the|using the|with all the} Airbus A350 family.

The A330-200 {has a|includes a|contains a} typical range of 7, 250nm when seating 247 passengers, according to the Airbus website, {while the|as the|even though the} A330-800 will have a range of 8, 150nm with 257 passengers in a three-class layout.

Meanwhile, the A330-300’ s typical range is 6, 350nm with a 277-passenger configuration, compared with 7, 200nm for the A330-900 configured with 287 seats in three classes.

Airbus began flight tests {of the|from the|in the} A330-800 {in early|at the begining of} November 2018 .

The A330-800 flight test campaign was {expected to|likely to|anticipated to} involve 300 flight hours, with certification expected in 2019, Airbus has said previously.

An infographic on the Airbus A330-900. (Airbus)

An infographic on the Airbus A330-900. (Airbus)

Aircalin the only A330neo customer in Oceania

Aircalin became {the first|the very first|the initial} (and still only) A330neo customer in Oceania in November 2016 when the New Caledonia-based airline put pen to paper for two A330-900s {to replace|to change|to exchange} its existing A330-200s .

In this {part of the|section of the|area of the} world, Fiji Airways and Qantas both operate the A330-200 and A330-300, while Aircalin and Virgin Australia have just the smaller A330-200.

An artist's impression of an Airbus A330-900 in Aircalin livery. (Airbus)

An artist’ s impression {of an|of the|of your} Airbus A330-900 in Aircalin livery. (Airbus)

At December 31 2018, Airbus had received 238 A330neo orders, {according to|based on|in accordance with} its website.

Of those, 230 are {for the|for that|for your} larger A330-900, with Kuwait Airways the only airline {that has|which has|which includes} opted for the A330-800 after it signed a purchase agreement for eight of the {type in|enter|key in} October.

Hawaiian Airlines was previously an A330-800 customer. However it cancelled an order for six A330-800s in March 2018 in favour of operating the Boeing 787-9.

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VIDEO: {A look at|A glance at|A review of} the making of TAP Portugal’ s first A330-900 from the Airbus YouTube channel .