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.”
The A330 Family, which spans 250 to 300 seats, and includes Freighter, VIP, and Military Transport/Tanker variants, has now attracted more than 1,200 orders and around 900 aircraft are flying 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.