China Eastern Airlines has taken delivery of its first A330-300 thus becoming the launch operator of the aircraft on the Chinese Mainland. The aircraft is powered by Rolls Royce Trent 700 engines and, will seat 300 passengers in a two-class layout with 38 seats in business class.
"These new A330-300s will be used to replace the A300-600 aircraft in our current fleet," said Luo Chaogeng, President of China Eastern Airlines Company Ltd. "We will put the A330-300 mainly into operation on medium and long range routes, especially on new international routes in Asia. Introduction of the new aircraft will speed up the modernisation of our Airbus fleet and help us open new routes on the international market. The A330-300 will offer our passengers a unique and comfortable in-flight experience. We will also benefit from A330's commonality with other members of the Airbus Family by reducing training and maintenance costs."
"The introduction of the first A330-300 into China marks a new achievement in our 20 years of close cooperation with China Eastern Airlines," said Gustav Humbert, Airbus President and Chief Executive Officer. "We are pleased to see that China Eastern Airlines, our largest operator in China and the whole Asia-Pacific, has continued to develop and enlarge its Airbus fleet, which currently comprises the most complete range of Airbus aircraft families in China.?
China Eastern Airlines, Airbus' first Chinese customer in China, currently operates an Airbus fleet of over 100 Airbus aircraft, including 75 A320 family aircraft, 18 A300/310 family aircraft and 10 A340 family aircraft. Headquartered in Shanghai, China Eastern Airlines has set up an extensive network connecting Asia, Europe, Australia and America with air links to 450 domestic and international destinations.
The A330-300 entered into service at the end of 1993 and has a range of up to 10,500 km/5,650 nm, giving it excellent flexibility for a wide range of route structures. Benefiting from a very low operating cost per seat, the A330-300 also offers a cabin that optimises both flexibility and comfort. With generous, truly wide-body fuselages, they are able to accommodate seat and class configurations to suit every operator?s requirements.
The A330 Family is the unquestioned leader in its category with a commanding market share and a continually expanding operator base. The longest-range twin-engine Airbus aircraft in service, A330 airliners have flown over five million operational hours with more than 70 customers and operators, a fact that underlines their strong market endorsement.
By the end of 2005, four Chinese Airlines on the Chinese Mainland, Hong Kong and Macao have operated 43 A330 family aircraft with a further 56 still on order.
Airbus is an EADS joint Company with BAE Systems.