An Airbus A330neo aircraft lands during its maiden flight event in Colomiers near Toulouse, France, October 19, 2017. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau
TOULOUSE, France (Reuters) – Airbus began the maiden flight of its A330neo jetliner, a plane which is an upgraded version of its profitable A330 family and is designed to sharpen competition with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
According to information posted on Airbus website, the A330neo is a more efficient aircraft that will generate savings through reduced fuel burn.
The extended-fuselage member of Airbus’ A330neo product line – the A330-900neo –can accommodate 287 seats in a typical three-class layout or up to 440 for high-density configurations.
Incorporating latest-generation Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, along with aerodynamic improvements – including new composite Sharklet wingtip devices – as well as increased lift and reduced drag.
The wide-bodied, long-distance jet took off at just before 0800 GMT under overcast skies.
Its maiden flight was watched by top executives from Airbus and Britain’s Rolls Royce, which supplies the engines.
The A330neo is a more efficient aircraft that will generate savings through reduced fuel burn.
In service since the 1990s, the A330 family is Airbus’s biggest-selling wide-body jet but the arrival of Boeing’s composite-body Dreamliner has eroded that advantage.
Airbus hopes the A330neo refreshed design will help it defend its position in the lucrative 250-300 seat market.
Chief Operating Officer Fabrice Bregier said Airbus had decided to improve the plane’s maximum take-off weight by around 4 percent to 251 tonnes so that the A330neo can serve longer routes like Kuala Lumpur to London.
With reports from Reuters and 4 traders