The aircraft jargon won’t make sense to the average flyer, but the news means that airlines with orders on deck for A330s have the potential to fly further and possibly offer new routes.
Airbus has improved the A330-300 and A330-200 even further by providing operators both with a 242 metric tonne maximum take-off weight (MTOW) capability and, for the larger A330-300, an increased fuel capacity option. These enhancements build on the capability announced earlier this year for an increased 240 tonne MTOW, and will be available for operators in 2015.
The new take-off weight capability combined with the fuel capacity increase enables operators of these new A330-300s to carry additional payload on longer missions. Overall, the full payload range now increases by around 500nm over today’s 235 tonne A330-300, and by around 350nm over today’s 238 tonne A330-200.
The A330-300’s optional fuel capacity increase will be achieved by activating the centre wing tank for the first time on this model. The centre tank and its associated systems have always been present as standard on its longer-range sibling – the A330-200. The additional fuel capacity for the A330-300 allows operators to fly new longer distance routes, such as direct flights between South-East Asia and Europe. For example, it will permit westbound direct flights such as Kuala Lumpur to Frankfurt or Paris, with the ability to carry additional cargo on the eastbound return flight.
Head of the A330 programme Patrick Piedrafita commented: “The A330 is already a highly efficient and reliable airliner and we have taken it as our duty to maximise this even further, along with range and payload increases.” He added: “We are currently delivering more A330s per month than ever before, and this is set to continue, especially given the ongoing improvements we are introducing to the airframe, cabin interior, and engines.”
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Photo credit: Designed for the high-efficiency build-up of long-range jetliners, Airbus’ A330/A340 final assembly line is built around the “station” principal. Airbus / airbus.com