MIAMI — Delta Air Lines took delivery of the first 242-tonne Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) A330-300 today in Toulouse, France, and the aircraft will be on its way to Atlanta tomorrow, Friday, May 29–with more than 100 employees who showed outstanding service to the company over the last year and are part of Delta’s Chairman’s Club.

Delta is one of 11 worldwide customers to take delivery of the evolved A330 aircraft which was first launched in 2012, and the first A330 242-t MTOW aircraft took to the skies earlier this year.

The A330 242 ton MTOW is the platform for the future A330neo. With the enhancements, Airbus said the aircraft offers more capability at lower operating cost. The max take-off weight of both the A330-200 and A330-300 has been increased, and it has incorporated a new aerodynamic package, engine improvements, and an optional centre fuel tank. Now, the A330-300 has a range up to 6,100 nautical miles and 2% less fuel consumption, thanks to these improvements.

“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.”

The aircraft will become a part of Delta Air Lines’ fleet later this summer; the carrier is also the launch customer for the A330neo. It has 25 of the -900 version on order in a victorious order for Airbus as it beat Boeing who tried to pitch its 787-9 Dreamliner and five new Boeing 777-200LRs as a stopgap offer until 787-9 delivery slots opened up during Delta’s RFP last year.

Delta Air Lines already operates 11 A330-200s and 21 A330-300s in its fleet. From the passenger experience, the new A330 242T MTOW aircraft will be just like any other Delta A330.