At the Farnborough Airshow this week, Airbus has officially announced that they will be moving forward with offering the new A330neo. Airbus is hoping that the new model will be 14% lower fuel burn per seat than the current A330 and they will be able to fly an additional 400 nautical miles.
“The A330 is a very important margin contributor for our Group. It’s also one of the most reliable and efficient commercial aircraft ever,” said Tom Enders, CEO of Airbus Group. “Customers love it. With our decision to re-engine the plane, we will keep the A330 flying high for many more years to come.”
There will be two models offered; the A330-800neo and the larger A330-900neo. The two models will be able to hold more passengers than the A330-200 and A330-300 models that they replace. The new -800neo will hold six additional passengers (252) and the -900 will hold 10 (310). With these configurations, it will have the new A330s competing almost head to head with the Boeing 787-8 and the 787-9.
Airbus also plans to bring some of the styling cues from the A350 into the cabin of the A330 with newer IFE systems, LED lighting and full connectivity.
“The A330neo is the logical evolution of our reliable and versatile A330 Family,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO. “We see strong market potential for the A330neo, and like its market-leading smaller sister, the A320neo, we are confident this new aircraft will be a success in the medium-haul segment. We are again leveraging a proven aircraft with a wide operator base and making it even more efficient with the latest innovations and technology developments.”
The new aircraft will boast new winglets and an updated engine; the Rolls-Royce Trent 7000.
The Air Lease Corporation became the launch customer with announcing a Memorandom of Understanding for 25 of the A330-900neo aircraft. Airbus is hoping to start deliveries of the A330neo during the fourth quarter of 2017.
Although Airbus is excited about their new offering, Boeing is not so sure. According to the Wall Street Journal, the 14% efficiency gain is, “extraordinarily optimistic.” Randy Tinseth, vice president, marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes also stated that the A330neo launch is a sign that their A350 family of jets had “failed.”
Updating the A320 with a neo model worked extremely well for Airbus, now let’s see if they can garner the same success with the A330neo.