Airbus has decided to offer a further enhanced version of the popular A330 airliner by increasing the maximum takeoff weight capability to 240 metric tonnes.
This 240 tonne capability will be first applied to the larger A330-300 model and subsequently to the A330-200 and A330-200F
The respective performance improvements are as follows: The 240 tonne A330-300 will benefit from up to 400nm extra range – to 5,950 nautical miles – with 300 passengers and carry nearly five tonnes more payload than today’s 235 tonne aircraft. Meanwhile, the new 240 tonne A330-200 will fly up to 270 nautical miles further – to 7,050 nautical miles – with 246 passengers and carry over 2.5 tonnes more payload than today’s 238 tonne A330-200. The two models will also bring increased fuel efficiency thanks to aerodynamic refinements and engine enhancements. Entry into service of the 240 tonne A330-300 is aimed for mid 2015.
In practical terms 240 tonne capability significantly extends the market coverage of the A330 Family. For example, this newest A330-300 will now be able to connect to the following new city pairs: London to Tokyo; Frankfurt to Cape Town; Beijing to Melbourne; Beijing to San Francisco; Kuala Lumpur to Paris; and Los Angeles to Dublin. Moreover, compared with the original 212 tonne A330-300 in 1992, the 240 tonne A330-300 can fly 2,000 nautical miles rurther and now cover 90 percent of the market from Heathrow – up 51 percent from 39 percent market coverage at original EIS.
“The A330 has come a long way in the last 10 years, and we are delighted to bring to more airlines the advantages and reliability of A330 economics over ever wider markets,” says John Leahy, chief operating officer Customers of Airbus. “This aircraft is the most popular aircraft ever in its category and looks set to hold this position for years to come.”
This latest A330-300 aircraft can now also fly similar ranges while burning over 15 percent less fuel than the B777-200ER on a 1,800nm mission. Furthermore, the A330 even becomes an extremely cost-effective alternative to the B787 on many routes with around five percent lower direct operating costs per trip than the B787. A key advantage of 240 tonne capability is that the increase in range allows the A330-300 to cover more of the A330-200 network, this gives airlines the flexibility to use the A330-200 to open new routes and grow frequency whilst using the A330-300 to grow capacity at low cost.
The A330 Family, which spans 250 to 300 seats, and includes Freighter, VIP, and Military Transport/Tanker variants, has now attracted around 1,200 orders and some 900 aircraft are flying with over 90 operators worldwide. Ever since the original version of the A330-300 entered service, the hallmark has been its very efficient operating economics. Thanks to the introduction of numerous product improvements, it remains the most cost-efficient and capable aircraft in its class and the Family is achieving average dispatch reliability above 99 percent. With headquarters in Toulouse, France, Airbus is an EADS company.