The first 242-tonne Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) variant of the A330-300 was delivered today to Delta Air Lines. The Atlanta, Georgia (U.S.) – based airline is the first to receive the aircraft type from among 11 worldwide customers for the option. Delta has selected GE CF6-80E1 engines to power its new A330-300.
Launched in 2012 as Airbus’ latest evolution to the twin-engine widebody A330 Family, the increased take-off weight A330-200 and A330-300 incorporate a new aerodynamic package, engine improvements and an optional centre fuel tank (the latter for the A330-300 version). These upgrades on the A330-300 allow for an extended range of up to 6,100 nautical miles while offering up to 2 percent fuel consumption reduction. This incremental innovation to Airbus’ A330 Family received airworthiness approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in April 2015, and received parallel certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) earlier this month.
The delivery ceremony today at Airbus’ headquarters in Toulouse, France, is particularly notable as the airline brought some 100 employees – each a member of Delta’s Chairman’s Club. The group is selected by their peers annually from 10-thousand nominees in Delta’s most prestigious corporate recognition program.
“Delta’s addition of this Airbus A330-300 marks a major milestone and reflects our continued strategy of making prudent investments in our fleet that enhance our customer experience and operational reliability,” said Delta President Ed Bastian from the delivery event. “Having our Chairman’s Club honorees, true examples of the Delta spirit of service, here to help us welcome this new aircraft into the Delta family makes this occasion even more special.”
“As the launch customer and launch operator of the 242-tonne A330-300, Delta is demonstrating its continued confidence in the performance and comfort of the A330, which has been part of the airline’s fleet for twelve years,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer – Customers. “The higher take-off weight allows the airline to fly both trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific routes, all in unrivalled comfort with operational reliability over 99 percent. The 242-tonne A330 clearly paves the way for the A330neo and A350 XWB to join Delta’s fleet in the next few years.”
Delta Air Lines, Airbus’ biggest A330 customer in North America, flies currently both Airbus single-aisle and widebody aircraft, including 57 A319ceo and 69 A320ceo aircraft, plus 11 A330-200s and 21 A330-300s. In addition to nine more A330-300s and 45 A321ceos still to be delivered to Delta, the airline ordered 25 A350-900 and 25 A330-900neo Airbus widebody aircraft last year.
Being member of the Airbus leading widebody family, and reflecting the market’s continued demand for high efficiency, comfort and reliability, the A330 Family has won more than 1,500 firm orders from over 100 customers worldwide and has more than 1,100 aircraft in operation.