Benefits to operators
Airbus pioneered the concept of commonality in its new generation of fly-by-wire jetliners, and the A330 brings these advantages to all members of its product line. The A330 and its four-engine A340 sister aircraft variant feature nearly identical cockpits and have highly similar flying qualities and procedures.
In fact, flight crews can transition from the A330 to the A340 in only three days, while a move from the A340 to A330 is performed in just one day. This savings in time – which compares to 25 days for a full type rating training course required with competing aircraft – result in lower training costs for airlines and increased crew productivity. It is accomplished by the focus of the training being on the differences between the types.
Mixed fleet advantages
Another advantage of Airbus commonality is a pilot's ability to be current on more than one Airbus fly-by-wire aircraft type at a time. This is known as Mixed Fleet Flying, and enables a pilot rated on an A330 to switch from widebody operations to single-aisle flights at the controls of the A320 Family, allowing A330 and A320 to be operated by a common pool of pilots. This opens new crew scheduling possibilities and provides a mix of flying opportunities that is highly appreciated by pilots.
The A330 benefits from the advanced Airbus cockpit design, which receives high marks from the thousands of pilots who fly Airbus aircraft daily. Cockpits across the Airbus product line are highly similar, and at their heart is the fly-by-wire system, whose digital electronic flight controls improve handling and stability while reducing pilot workload.
Flying the family
The A330’s side-sticks – which replace the traditional centre-mounted control yokes used for decades on airliners – give optimum control inputs for the fly-by-wire system and create an open, uncluttered cockpit environment for the flight crew. As the same basic cockpit layout is used on the other Airbus fly-by-wire jetliners, it is easy for pilots to transition from the A330 and A340 to the smaller A320 Family, the larger A380 and in the future the A350.
Orders & deliveries
Did you know?
- The A330-200 and A330-300 are almost identical in all but length. The only two other key differences are that the centre tank is activated for increased fuel capacity and an extended fin and rudder on the A330-200
- A330s currently operate to over 300 airports worldwide
- More than 1.1 billion passengers have flown the A330
- Every day, the A330 fleet flies the equivalent of 15 times to the moon
Every minute, an A330 takes off somewhere in the world
An A330 takes-off or lands every 23 seconds of every day