Encyclopedia - Airbus A330
The A330 Family is the unquestioned leader in its category with a stable market share and a continually expanding operator base. The A330 is the longest-range twin-engine Airbus aircraft in-service. It has flown over five million operational hours with 60 customers and operators, a fact that underlines its strong market endorsement.
With a very low operating cost per seat, the A330-300 typically accommodates 335 passengers in two classes or 295 travellers in three classes. It entered into service at the end of 1993 and has a range of up to 10,500km/5,650nm providing excellent flexibility for networks.
Comfortably carrying 253 passengers in a typical three-class arrangement the A330-200 entered into service in 1998. Derived from the longer fuselage A330-300, it features higher payloads and improved engines. Its range of up to 12,500km/6,750nm enables it to easily serve non-stop destinations like for instance Tokyo to major US West Coast cities (Seattle, San Francisco) or to Europe.
The popularity of the A330 lies in its ability to better match market requirements in terms of range and efficiency, than other aircraft currently in service, whilst offering high levels of technology in terms of structure, aerodynamics and systems. The A330 Family has benefited from the incorporation of many of the features developed for the A340-500 and -600 such as the use of lighter and stronger metal alloys and composites that have reduced airframe weight. In addition, the aircraft wing is aerodynamically optimised to be fuel-efficient for medium to long-range routes. Member of the Airbus fly-by-wire Family, the A330 allows Cross Crew Qualification and Mixed Fleet Flying.
The A330 cabin is optimised for both flexibility and comfort. With generous, true widebody fuselage, the A330 is able to accommodate seat and class configurations to suit operators' requirements. Whatever the arrangement selected, the passenger's comfort will not be compromised. From First and Business Class through Economy, there is more space and wider seats in an A330 than in competing aircraft.
Thanks to a transfer of A340 technology, this aircraft also benefits from the quietest cabin in the sky and the overhead stowage is designed for the most popular "roller –bags". The A330 can be equipped with the latest in-flight entertainment systems as well as the new generation of on-board communication features, allowing passengers and crew to be as well connected in the air as on the ground.
The spaciousness of the A330 main deck is echoed in the lower deck since the large underfloor cargo capability allows airlines to carry more revenue-generating cargo consolidated on pallets and containers loaded side-by-side, something which is not possible with existing competition in this category. This feature has, for example, enabled some operators to profitably fly regional overnight freight-only services with the A330 after a full day's passenger service.
To date over 700 A330/A340/A350 Family aircraft are in operation with almost 80 operators and over 300 aircraft in backlog.
Information kindly supplied by Airbus