LONDON – Pilots from TAP Portugal were lucky enough to test fly the A330-900neo testbed aircraft in preparation for when the carrier is to receive the first of its type later this year.
In Toulouse yesterday, Nuno Cardoso, TAP’s A330/A340 chief pilot followed by Victor Pereira, TAP’s A330 Fleet Instruction Coordinator tested the aircraft to demonstrate the performance of this new aircraft variant.
The two TAP captains were accompanied by Airbus test pilot Thierry Bourges, who had overall responsibility in the test program of this variant. With the carrier being the launch customer, the captains expressed very pleased behaviors and were happy with how the aircraft acted in the testing phase.
Look at these smiley faces! @TAPAirPortugal pilots have just flown their airline's future flagship for the first time – the brand new #A330neo. Let's get ready to power into the future! #TAP330NEO🛫🇵🇹 pic.twitter.com/O5XiYAZT9z
— Airbus (@Airbus) March 21, 2018
This aircraft will be the first equipped with the new version of the Airspace cabin, which will offer TAP a new USP in the seats that they provide to flyers.
On top of this, the carrier will benefit from Rolls Royce’s Trent 7000 engines which will provide a better fuel efficiency of up to 14% and improvements aerodynamically. This 14% fuel cost saving makes the A330neo the most efficient wide-body aircraft.
TAP Portugal has 20 of the -900neo aircraft on order with the first delivery due to take place in the second half of 2018. There are currently 214 units of the A330-900neo on order which will all be powered by Rolls Royce’s Trent 7000 engines.