Airbus has announced a production rate increase for its A330 Family, responding to new commercial successes that underscore this versatile widebody product line’s popularity with customers around the globe.
Taking effect in January 2017, the change will raise production from its current level – six aircraft per month – to a monthly rate of seven. As of 31 January, Airbus had booked orders for 1,610 A330s, of which 1,261 had been delivered.
“The A330 has enjoyed additional commercial success in China, Saudi Arabia and South Africa among other countries. Add to that healthy demand for the MRTT military derivative and you have an order book that can easily absorb an increase of one aircraft per month,” said Eric Zanin, Head of the A330 Family Programme.
Airbus’ A330 Family has five in-service members: the A330-200 and longer-fuselage A330-300 commercial jetliner versions, A330-200F freighter, ACJ330 corporate jet and A330 multi-role tanker transport (MRTT) aircraft; along with two highly-efficient A330neo (New Engine Option) versions in development: the A330-800neo and A330-900neo.
Planned for first deliveries in the fourth quarter of 2017, the A330neo aircraft will expand operators’ market opportunities with a range capability increase of up to 400 nautical miles, and offer better economics than its competitors while also providing an inch greater seat-width in economy class for improved passenger comfort.
Zanin said the increase will become “real” mid-way through 2016 when component production reaches the new level.