Aircraft Business & Finance News

Airbus A330neo high weight varient makes maiden flight

Airbus made the first flight of the A330-900. While the current version has a maximum takeoff weight of 242 tons, the new version of the A330neo has a maximum weight of 251 tons. Which allows for larger cargo capacity for airlines.

To increase the maximum weight, Airbus has added a series of reinforcements in the fuselage structure and in the landing gear. In the nose landing gear, the engineers made a modification that helps prolong the life of these components, leading to a total duration of between 10 to 12 years, which results in maintenance savings for the airlines.

The new version offers an extra 650 nautical miles of range (1,200 kilometers) and also 6 additional tons of payload. Then, the basic version provides a range of 6,550 nautical miles (12,100 kilometers), and that of 251 Tons will offer 7,200 nautical miles (13,300 kilometers). This change meets the new needs of the market, benefiting Transpacific or Asia-Europe routes; for example, Delta Air Lines based the operations of its A330-900 in Seattle to make transpacific flights.

The new variant is expected to be certified by the authorities in the middle of this year. At the same time, the A330-800 will also have its 251-ton option, which will be available in 2021.

Currently, it is not known which airlines will get the new version. According to the latest Airbus report, fourteen A330-800 and 323 A330-900 are ordered.

On the same date, on February 28, the last A330-300 was manufactured for Aer Lingus. Among those interested in the A330neo, are LATAM, Emirates, Starlux, and Virgin Australia have considered the model, although without specifying the model.