MIAMI – Garuda Indonesia (GA) has quietly placed an order for the Airbus A330-800 – the less popular A330neo variant – according to Airbus’ latest order backlog.

Garuda Indonesia’s order for the Airbus A330-800 has evolved within recent years. In June 2019, the carrier revealed it signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for four of the aircraft. At the end 2019, Airbus reported it had secured an undisclosed order for four A330-800s.

In the manufacturer’s latest orders and deliveries report, Airbus finally disclosed Garuda Indonesia as the customer of the four A330-800s.

The Indonesian airline will now operate a total 16 Airbus A330neos once all have been delivered. This consists of the four -800s and 12 of the larger A330-900s. GA has already taken delivery of three A330-900s.

Garuda Indonesia PK-GHJ Airbus A330-941 | Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways

Garuda Indonesia and the A330-800

Garuda Indonesia currently maintains a sizeable fleet of 27 Airbus A330s comprised of seven A330-200s, 17 A330-300s, and three A330-900s. The A330-800 is Airbus’ latest evolution of the A330 Family. This aircraft boasts greater fuel efficiency compared to the A330-200/300s and an impressive 8,150 nautical miles of range.

Last year, it was reported that Garuda Indonesia was eyeing flights from Bali/Denpasar (DPS) to the United States. With the A330-800’s range, the carrier can potentially fly nonstop from Bali to the US West Coast, which includes Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO).

As of now, there is no confirmed delivery timeline for GA’s four A330-800s. In 2019, the carrier signaled it planned to take delivery of two in late 2021 and the other two in early 2022. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, these deliveries may be deferred.

Garuda Indonesia A330-900 | Photo: Airbus

Airbus’ Struggle with the A330-800

Since Airbus launched the A330neo, the majority of orders have gone to the larger A330-900 variant. As of now, there is a total of 15 A330-800s on order according to the orders and deliveries report:

  • 8 Kuwait Airways – 2 Delivered
  • 2 Uganda Airlines – 2 Delivered
  • 1 Air Greenland – 0 Delivered
  • 4 Garuda Indonesia – 0 Delivered

Hawaiian Airlines (HA) previously had an order for six Airbus A330-800s but canceled it in favor of the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

Airbus has not been able to secure a significant amount of orders for the aircraft. With the ongoing pandemic, aircraft orders have plummeted, although Air Greenland firmed up its single A330-800 order in December 2020.

The Airbus A330-200, which for some carriers remains a relatively young aircraft, continues to be pivotal in many fleets. As the aircraft ages, some airlines may require a replacement to maintain and advance their route networks, which could open opportunities for additional A330-800 orders in the future.

Featured Image: Airbus A330-800. Photo: Airbus