Delta Air Lines takes delivery of the most capable A330-300 ever builtPrint
In a delivery ceremony that took place on May 28, Delta Air Lines became the first airline to take delivery of the most capable A330-300 ever produced. This newest variant of the A330 commenced its certification flight testing in mid-January this year. Following a 12-week, 100 hour flight-test campaign, it achieved certification from the European airworthiness authorities (EASA) on April 1 and received parallel certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) earlier this month.
Several improvements have been made to this latest version of the A330:
- An increased take-off weight of 242 tonnes (533,500 pounds)
- Minor aerodynamic improvements to Slat 1 and the flap track fairings
- An optional fuel capacity boost which is achieved by the activation of the center fuel tank
Compared with the previous 235 tonne version – this newest enhancement offers more payload capability at lower operating cost, with a range extended by up to 500 nautical miles and with up to 2% lower fuel consumption. This translates into the capability to fly a typical load of 300 passengers and their baggage up to 6,100nm. To date, 11 customers have ordered 41 units of this highest take-off weight version of the A330.
For Delta Air Lines, this 242 tonne version will be joining an existing fleet of 32 A330 Family aircraft – a mix of 11 smaller capacity A330-200s and 21 larger capacity A330-300s. “Delta’s addition of this Airbus A330-300 marks a major milestone and reflects our continued strategy of making prudent investments in our fleet that enhance our customer experience and operational reliability,” said Delta President Ed Bastian from the delivery event.
Delta is also the launch customer for the A330neo (new engine option) which will further improve the A330’s range and economic efficiency when it enters service with the airline in 2017.
A true favorite with passengers, the A330 remains the preferred choice for over 100 airlines worldwide who continue to benefit from its proven and unrivalled low operating costs. Total sales of the A330 have surpassed the 1,500 mark – a testament to the continuing popularity of this flexible, reliable and economically efficient twin-aisle twin.