EASA approves increased take-off weight variant of the Airbus A330-900

Airbus has achieved certification from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for its latest A330neo product enhancement enabling longer range: the 251 metric tonnes Maximum-Take-Off Weight (MTOW) variant of the A330-900. With more range and even better economics, the new variant now offers a significant 650-nautical mile boost in the range – or six tonnes more payload – when compared with the A330-900’s current 242-tonne version.

This increase in range responds to evolving market needs, enabling airlines to benefit from the unique economics of the A330neo for even longer missions – flying efficiently on routes from 20mn to over 17 hours. It also means that now the A330neo Family offers airlines even more flexibility with a wide range of certified MTOW options, ranging from 200 to 251 tonnes. Corsair will be the first airline to operate this most capable A330neo. With this new A330-900 offering, operators will have the necessary range and capacity to capitalize on longer routes while rationalising their fleets.

François Kubica, A330 Chief Engineer says: “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.

Overall, the new MTOW option makes the A330-900 the perfect fit for longer trans-Pacific or Asia-Europe routes. The -900 is the longer-fuselage A330neo version, seating 260-300 passengers in a typical three-class cabin configuration. Certification at the new 251-tonne weight for the shorter-fuselage A330-800 – which accommodates 220-260 passengers in a three-class configuration – will take place next year to enable airlines to open up even longer range transpacific routes while delivering the lowest seat-mile cost in its category.

To achieve the 251t capability, Airbus has retained 99% spares commonality, with the MTOW increase achieved through a combination of weight-neutral structural reinforcements and landing gear adaptations. Modifications to the nose and main landing gear have also enabled Airbus engineers to extend their time-before-overhaul (TBO), prolonging the previous 10-year interval to a new 12-year timeframe, thus resulting in significant maintenance savings.

A330neo is now powering the family into the future with its new engine and wing technology to drive a step-change in performance and economics – 25% lower fuel burn and CO2 emissions when compared with the previous generation aircraft. Moreover, by retaining the ‘same type rating’ and having 95% spares commonality, it can seamlessly fit into any existing A330 fleet, while its new Airspace cabin offers the perfect space for passengers and airlines.

André Orban: M. Sc. Engineering
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