Following a year of significant commercial milestones and key programme announcements in 2013, Airbus’ A330 widebody jetliner family is building the momentum in 2014 with continued improvement, innovation and high production output to meet sustained global demand.
On the commercial side, 2013 brought several major new orders for the A330, including the largest-ever in a single agreement: a 25-aircraft acquisition inked in December by AirAsia X, the AirAsia Group’s long-haul affiliate. In total, 77 new A330 Family orders were registered last year, bringing overall firm orders to 1,313 from over 100 customers as of 31 December.
“Surpassing the 100-customer milestone is a huge achievement for the A330, which has become Airbus’ most successful widebody aircraft,” said A330 Marketing Director Jean Ladoues. “It reinforces that the programme is working well and is maintaining popularity with customers.”
The A330 production ramp-up to 10 aircraft monthly went smoothly in 2013, resulting in the handover of 108 jetliners during the calendar year – including the milestone 1,000th family aircraft: an A330-300 version received by Cathay Pacific Airways in July. At year-end, the total A330 delivery count stood at 1,046 jetliners.
Airbus is keeping the A330 highly competitive by investing in the aircraft family’s continual evolution. During the 2003-2013 timeframe, Airbus committed one euro to improve the A330 for every euro originally spent developing it, ensuring the latest technology and capabilities are on board the A330.
The A330 version with an increased 242-metric ton maximum takeoff weight will enter service in mid-2015, expanding the range by 500 nautical miles with fuel consumption reduced by up to two percent. And the A330’s versatility for growth regions such as China and Asia will be further enhanced with the new A330 Regional – with a service entry in early 2015.