In its daily service with a growing number of customers worldwide – including operators throughout the Asia-Pacific region – the A330 is living up to its motto: “The right aircraft, right now.”
This twin-engine workhorse is utilised in a full range of applications, from regional passenger flights and freight transportation to VVIP service and multi-role military duties for airlift and in-flight refuelling missions.
Airbus has booked orders for nearly 1,190 A330s to date, of which almost 850 have been delivered. With the backlog continuing to grow, Airbus has boosted its A330 production rate to 10 aircraft monthly. Another ramp-up to 11 per month is now anticipated, which could be reached by early 2014.
“There has been renewed demand for this very popular aircraft in recent years – even going beyond our forecasts – thanks to its flexibility, proven reliability and low operating costs,” Airbus President and CEO Tom Enders told reporters at the Singapore Airshow. “Last year, we won almost 100 new orders worldwide for the A330, with half of the total coming from Asia-Pacific, and we fully expect the momentum to continue.”
Enders said enhancements are being considered to further improve the A330’s performance and efficiency, citing two examples: an increase in the maximum takeoff weight; and the incorporation of large wingtip devices similar to the Sharklets developed for Airbus’ A320 Family aircraft.
“We hope to make some decisions on these enhancements later in the year, with the aim of ensuring that our A330 remains a preferred choice of airlines for many years to come,” Enders added.