Airbus A318 models fitted with CFM International engines were approved for 180 minute Extended-Range Twin-Engine Operations (ETOPS), on Monday 6th November. The approval was granted by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) validation of this approval is targeted for the first half of 2007.
The first A318 with 180 minutes ETOPS capability, an A318 Elite, will be delivered to Comlux Aviation AG of Switzerland towards the end of the year, prior to having its cabin fitted.
This means that all A320 Family members and all Airbus twin-engined aircraft are now approved for 180 minutes ETOPS, except for the early A300 aircraft and the A318 powered by Pratt & Whitney engines. The 180 minutes ETOPS approval of the latter is currently planned for the first quarter of 2007, before entry into service of the first aircraft with LAN Airlines, headquartered in Chile, in early 2007.
This 180 min ETOPS Type Design approval granted by EASA reflects the high reliability of the A320/A321/A319/A318 operations and many years of successful A320 Family ETOPS experience. ETOPS is an International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) rule that permits twin-engined commercial aircraft operators to fly routes that are up to 180 minutes flying time from the nearest airport.
Airbus' A320 Family features the most modern design with the most spacious cabin of any aircraft in its class, delivering unmatched passenger comfort and unparalleled economy and reliability. The Airbus A320 Family is the most popular and modern aircraft in its class, with more than 4,700 orders received from over 160 customers and 2,900 already delivered.
Airbus in an EADS company.