The 242-metric-ton maximum takeoff weight version of the Airbus A330-200 has won EASA certification, some five months after the larger A330-300 earned certification from European authorities, Airbus announced on Tuesday. The company said approval from the U.S. authorities would follow.
Launched in 2012, the increased-takeoff-weight A330-200 and A330-300 incorporate a new aerodynamic package, engine improvements and, in the -300 version, an optional center fuel tank.
The range of the smaller of the two airplanes, designated by Airbus as the A330-200 242t, increases by up to 350 nautical miles compared with today’s standard 238-metric ton model, extending range to 7,250 nautical miles and allowing operators to fly up to 15 hours nonstop. The improvements also fuel consumption by up two percent, said Airbus.
The company bills the new, heavier-takeoff-weight A330 as the basis for the A330neo, launched at last year’s Farnborough Air Show and scheduled for first delivery to Delta Air Lines in the fourth quarter of 2017. In May Delta also took the first 242-metric-ton A330-300, making it the first of 11 customers to receive the option.
Airbus would not identify the first operator of the A330-200 242t, citing its policy to allow the customer to decide when to make the announcement.
Separately, on September 7 Airbus announced it had cut the first metal for the A330neo at its plants in Toulouse and Nantes, France. Machining of the first engine pylon started during the summer at Airbus’s facility in Saint-Eloi (Toulouse), while the company's factory in Nantes began production of the first A330neo center wing box.