MIAMI – The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has granted Airbus certification for the latest variant of the A330neo family, enabling a longer range with a 251 ton Maximum-Take-Off Weight (MTOW) variant of the A330-900.

The variant, as opposed to the current 242-ton version of the A330neo, which initially gained certification in 2018, will allow for fuel efficiency on flights longer than 17 hours.

Corsair International (SS), is set to bet the first airline to operate this new variant of the A330-900, with other airlines likely to follow suit as efficiency is gaining even greater importance with many airlines reeling from the financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A330neo lanch announcement at 2014 Farnborough Air Show. (Credits: Airbus S.A.S.)

An Efficient Adaptation

According to Airbus A330 Chief Engineer François Kubica, “Airbus is always supporting its customers to find solutions by advancing our products. With the new 251 tonne weight variant the A330neo is more flexible than ever to meet their current and future requirements.”

The new MTOW option makes the A330-900 a perfect fit for longer trans-Pacific or Asia-Europe routes. While the A330-900 variant had achieved the new certification, the A330-800 variant carrying fewer passengers with a shorter fuselage will likely receive the enhanced MTOW certification next year.

In achieving the 251 ton capability, Airbus has retained 99% spares commonality with the certification achieved through a combination of weight-neutral structural reinforcements and landing gear adaptations.

With the A330neo reducing fuel burn by 25%, it certainly decreases carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in comparison to previous generation aircraft. A common type rating and 95% spares commonality across the variants should make the aircraft an easy choice for airlines.

Featured image: Azul A330neo TLS. Photo: Clément Alloing