Since the 1990s, the versatile A330 has carried over 1 billion people
When Peter Sutch, Cathay Pacific’s then Managing Director, placed an order for 10 A330s in July 1989, he could not have imagined just how important this new wide-body plane would be.
By 2011, when Cathay Pacific placed their thirteenth order, this time for 15 A330s, the versatile plane had grown into a whole family of aircraft, and the best-selling wide-body, ever.
“What does the A330 do? It does anything.”
Crawford Hamilton, Head of A330 Marketing in Toulouse, France.
The well-loved plane owes its versatility to pioneering principles developed by engineers at Airbus. Ever since its first aircraft programme, Airbus has taken commonality to a new level, making systems and parts highly interchangeable so that operations, pilot training and maintenance is more standardised and less expensive.
Commonality means new versions of planes grow like a family. The A330 family includes different weight options that make it efficient for short and medium-haul flying, as well as a freighter version, a Multi Role Tanker Transport, a corporate jet... and the head-turning BelugaXL.
The A330neo, launched in 2014 and delivered to its first customer in 2018, brought further fuel savings, improved aerodynamics, and unbeatable comfort to the mid-sized wide-body.
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