Airbus A330

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Airbus A330
F-WWCB A330-203 Airbus Industrie TLS 27SEP13 (9972134676) crop.jpg
Airbus A330-200 in Airbus factory colors
Type: Twin-engine wide-body aircraft
Design country:



First flight:

2nd November 1992


17th January 1994

Production time:

In series production since 1992

Number of pieces:

1497 (as of July 31, 2020)

Cockpit of an Air Berlin A330

The Airbus A330 is a twin- engine , wide - body aircraft from the European aircraft manufacturer Airbus , which is designed as a medium and long-haul aircraft. It has two turbofan - engines with high bypass ratio and like all modern airliners a two-person cockpit. The first flight took place on November 2, 1992 in the A330-300 version. On October 19, 2017, a new development stage of the aircraft, the Airbus A330neo in the A330-900 version, had its maiden flight, with which a new generation of engines and other changes will be used. The suffix neo stands for engl. new engine option . The Airbus A330, which will continue to be offered with the engines available until 2017, is called the A330ceo ( current engine option ) to distinguish it .

The final assembly of the Airbus A330 takes place in Toulouse . Models comparable to the A330 are the Boeing models 767 and 787 and the Ilyushin Il-96 . The A330 is a sister model of the four-engine Airbus A340 . The "neo" versions A330-800 and A330-900 are intended to complement the Airbus A350 series in the lower capacity range.

At the Farnborough International Airshow in 2008, the Airbus A330 hit 1,000 orders. By February 2020, 1,497 of 1,818 aircraft of this type ordered had been delivered, of which 1,436 are still in service.



Air Canada A330-300
A330 cabin

As early as 1981, the first studies for the A330 were known, which were then published under the name TA9 (Twin Aisle, so about "aircraft with two aisles") in the English aircraft magazine Air International . The concepts of the later A320 family under the name SA9 and the later A340 under the name TA11 were also presented at that time, with performance data also being given. However, Airbus preferred the A320 program and thus postponed the development of the TA9 / TA11.

This program of the two long-haul aircraft A330 / A340 was decided by Airbus on January 24, 1986 in Munich and officially announced in June 1987. With the A330 / A340, Airbus wanted to penetrate the wide-bodied long-haul aircraft market, which is dominated by Boeing. At that time there were only the outdated models McDonnell Douglas DC-10 and Lockheed L-1011 and the somewhat newer Boeing 767 and the Soviet Ilyushin Il-86 for this segment of the regular service .

The two versions A330 / A340-200 / 300 were planned with practically the same configuration. The only difference between the models is the different number of engines (two for the A330 and four for the A340). Airbus uses the same wings , tail units and fuselage parts for both . On the one hand, this reduced development and production costs and, on the other hand, created synergy effects for the airlines in terms of maintenance and operation. The fuselage of the Airbus A300 was used as the basis for development . This was then only stretched accordingly depending on the version. The cockpit was based on that of the A320. Overall , the aircraft was a mixture of the technical innovations of the A320 family and the fuselage cross-section of the A300 / A310.

Program course

The first presentation of the aircraft (called rollout or reveal) took place on October 14, 1992. One month later, on November 2, 1992, the Airbus A330 in the 300 version took off for the first time. The third prototype was the first to have a complete interior and was already painted in the colors of the first customer Air Inter . This aircraft was also used for certification flights, including tests for operation in hot climates at Khartoum Airport and the ETOPS flights. The test flights were completed in December 1994 after passing all tests. The aircraft was registered in Europe on October 21, 1993.

The ETOPS test flights were carried out for the Airbus A330-300 from August 25 to September 6, 1993. In these tests, the A330 flew six hours with just one engine over the North Atlantic . The A330 was thus approved for the 90-minute ETOPS. As of 1998, all new Airbus A330s were approved for ETOPS-180. In November 2009, the European aviation authority EASA approved the 240-minute ETOPS certification for all types of Airbus A330. EASA justified this approval with the high reliability of this type. Customers can order this expansion as an option for the new A330.

The construction of the shortened 200 variant was decided in November 1995. Two years later, on August 13, 1997, this version took off for the first time. It was handed over to the first customer ILFC and its lessee Canada 3000 on April 29, 1998 .

Sales success due to the rising oil price

Due to the rising kerosene prices, the A330 was able to exploit its lower kerosene consumption as an advantage compared to the A340. Therefore, the Airbus A330 continued to sell very well. This confirmed Hartmut Mehdorn's prediction that the Airbus A330 designed for charter airlines would sell three times as well as the A340 in the long term. Other experts did not expect this.

From December 2004 the Airbus A350 was planned, which was originally planned as a further development of the A330, but was later modified more heavily. As customer criticism persisted, this development was halted and instead, Airbus presented a completely new aircraft called the A350 XWB. This newly designed type should no longer be based on the A330 and have a larger fuselage diameter (the abbreviation XWB stands for eXtra-Wide Body).

Another upturn in orders at Airbus was evident from the postponement of the first flight and the delivery of the Boeing 787 . Many airlines lease or buy the Airbus A330 to replace the planned 787. For this reason, Airbus postponed the first flight and delivery of the Airbus A330-200F, as the A330 production line in Toulouse is full.


Cockpit of an Airbus A330

The so-called commonality can be found in many areas of the A330. This means that systems of different types of aircraft are exactly the same in order to save costs. The Airbus A330 is practically an A340-300 with only two engines. The reinforcement of the wings above the outer engines of the four-engine A340 is not required on the A330. The electronic flight systems ( avionics ) are essentially the same as in the A340 and A320 family, as are the cockpits . The cockpits of the A380 and A350 are in turn based on this, which results in a reduction in pilot training costs. These synergy effects can be used when storing and purchasing spare parts.

Manufacturing and logistics

As with all Airbus aircraft, the individual components are manufactured locally, only the final assembly takes place in Toulouse, France. The nose section, the engine nacelle mountings and a section of the central fuselage will be built in France, the horizontal stabilizer will be made in Spain. The Airbus locations in Germany build the fuselage except for the above-mentioned sections, the vertical stabilizer and the cabin equipment. The Airbus Broughton plant in Great Britain is responsible for the wings . Seven A330s (/ A340s) are manufactured and delivered each month. The plan is to increase this to ten machines per month (2015).

The transport of the fuselage section, the wings and the tail units is carried out by the Airbus Beluga .


Technical innovations

There are many technical innovations in the Airbus A330. This includes, for example, a digital fly-by-wire flight control system, which was used for the first time on a wide-body aircraft, as well as a sidestick instead of a control horn . The A330 was delivered with a so-called glass cockpit with cathode ray tubes , later liquid crystal screens (LCD). The number of analog instruments has been reduced. In later tranches , the analog "back-up" instruments were also replaced by a central instrument cluster. First sectors of the fuselage are partly made of composite materials. The Airbus A330 has a so-called FADEC system, in which the engine control and monitoring is carried out by a computer.


Fuselage section of the sister A340

The design and diameter of the fuselage were taken from the A300 / A310 program and, depending on the version, lengthened accordingly and modified by the position of the doors. The fuselage is constructed in aluminum half-shell construction and divided into sections in order to simplify transport. It is pressurized, with the exception of the stern. The Airbus A330 has a total of 8 doors, some of which are designed as emergency exits. In the lower part of the fuselage, in front of and behind the main landing gear, there is a cargo hold, which can be loaded through a large cargo door from the right side. The cargo holds are fully equipped with a roller conveyor system that enables loading with standard containers. The A330 has an exceptionally large cargo hold, the volume of which corresponds to that of the larger Boeing 747 .


The Airbus A330 is designed as a low-wing aircraft. The wings are a new development, but the experience from the Airbus A310 has been incorporated into them. The wings were specially developed for long-haul flights, which resulted in a relatively large span, also to accommodate the required fuel. The profile is an evolution of the A310's supercritical profile . The wings differ only slightly from those of the A340, only the lines to the engines (the A340 has four of them) and their mountings are different. The wings consist of three box spars and are made of aluminum. The sweep is 30 °. They are firmly connected to the wing box integrated in the fuselage . There are two fuel tanks in each wing. The Airbus A330 also has a center tank in the fuselage, and thus a capacity of 135,000 liters of fuel. The panels, the outer flaps, the spoilers and ailerons are made of fiber-reinforced plastic. As a lift aid, the A330 has slats on the leading edge , which are interrupted at the engine mountings. They can be de-iced by hot engine bleed air. Which are at the trailing edge lift devices (flaps). These are designed as simple Fowler flaps and run continuously from the fuselage to the point where the outer engines of the Airbus A340 are located. Two independent ailerons are connected here, each controlled by two hydraulic systems. The ailerons are supported by spoilers attached to the top of the wing, these also serve as air brakes . Winglets are attached to the tip of the wing, which both reduce drag and generate lift themselves.

Tail unit

Tail unit of an A330-300 of the SAS

The tail unit of the A330 is designed as a self-supporting, conventional tail unit with fins and rudders. It has no possibility of de-icing. The vertical stabilizer was taken over from the A310 and is made of carbon fiber reinforced composite material (KFK). The tailplane has been redeveloped. The horizontal stabilizer is fully movable for trimming and consists of an aluminum spar, the rest is also made of KFK. Each version of the A330 has a trim tank built into the horizontal stabilizer, which was also adopted from the A310. During the flight, controlled by a computer, fuel is pumped back and forth between the trim tank and the other tanks to optimize the center of gravity. The resulting smaller deflections of the horizontal stabilizer lead to fuel savings. The trim tank can also be used as an additional fuel tank.

landing gear

The landing gear of the Airbus A330 consists of a single-axis nose landing gear with two wheels and two main landing gears, each equipped with four wheels. It is designed as a conventional retractable landing gear and is operated hydraulically. The nose-wheel steering and the carbon-disc brakes, with which the eight main landing gear wheels are equipped, are also operated hydraulically. The nose landing gear is unbraked on the A330. A special feature (together with the A340) is the so-called “shortening mechanism”, which shortens the main landing gear legs by 6 inches, that is 15.24 cm, when retracting.

Flight control

The A330 has a digital, multi-computer monitored flight control system that is operated using the sidestick and the rudder pedals in the cockpit. It was adopted from the A320 and is also used in the Airbus A340. There is no longer any mechanical connection to the control surfaces. All control surfaces are hydraulically operated by three independent hydraulic systems (Yellow, Green, Blue). Thanks to the digital control, with five independent computers, Airbus has built in a number of electronic safety routines that are supposed to protect the aircraft from uncontrolled flight conditions. Such a system was used here for the first time in a wide-body aircraft. Boeing only followed suit with the 777 years later. This system enabled Airbus to achieve a cockpit layout and flight behavior that is so similar to the A320 family that pilots are able to fly this type of aircraft after a short training session.


A total of three different engines are used on the Airbus A330: the General Electric CF6 -80E, the PW4000-100 from Pratt & Whitney and the Rolls-Royce Trent 700. The last two were specially developed for the A330.

Parameter General Electric CF6 -80E Pratt & Whitney PW4000 -100 Rolls-Royce Trent 700
overall length 7.95 m 6.17 m 7.32 m
Turbine length 6.18 m 4.29 m 5.62 m
Fan diameter 2.89 m 2.72 m 2.56 m
thrust 281 to 304 kN 287 to 311 kN 300 to 316 kN
Dimensions 5092 kg 5851 kg 6160 kg
price approximately $ 16 to 17 million approximately $ 24 to 28 million approximately $ 35.5 to $ 37.5 million

The Trent 700 has a market share of around 60% in the Airbus A330, customers include Egypt Air , Lufthansa , Gulf Air and Etihad Airways . The remaining 40% market share is shared roughly half by the PW4000 and the CF6. Examples of users here are Air France and Qantas for the CF6 and China Southern Airlines , Air Berlin and Korean Air for the PW4000 .

In June 2019, a Trent 700 engine on an Aeroflot A330 set a new record for wide-body aircraft. The engine has been in use since 2008 and achieved over 50,000 flight hours without requiring any overhaul work.


Some configurations of the A330 / A340 family have more than one deck that can be accessed by passengers, i.e. they are double-deckers: Airbus offers the so-called lower deck facilities as an option to increase the number of seats . In this configuration, an area of ​​the cargo hold, approximately at the level of the wing, is separated by walls and connected to the passenger compartment by a staircase, thus creating space for the sanitary facilities on the main deck. Depending on the configuration, four to six additional rows can be installed. In the case of the A330-200, a version of this type from the Thomas Cook Group has this special configuration - with this model the maximum number of seats of 406 can only be achieved in this configuration.


The Airbus A330 comes in two main variants, these are referred to as -200 and -300. There are also sub-variants, these denote the type of engine of the variant. At the International Air Show in Farnborough on July 14, 2014, Airbus announced its intention to introduce the A330-800neo for the A330-200 and the A330-900neo for the A330-300 from 2017 [obsolete] . With Rolls-Royce engines, a fuel saving of 14% is to be aimed for.

The previous variants are described in the following tables:

A330-2xx Engine A330-3xx Engine
-201 GE CF6-80E1A2 -301 GE CF6-80E1A2
-202 GE CF6-80E1A4 -302 GE CF6-80E1A4
-203 GE CF6-80E1A3 -303 GE CF6-80E1A3
-321 PW 4164
-222 PW 4168 -322 PW 4168
-223 PW 4168A -323 PW 4168A
-341 RR Trent 768
-342 RR Trent 772
-243 RR Trent 772B -343 RR Trent 772B

Example: An Airbus A330-323 is an Airbus A330-300 with PW-4168A engines.


Former Swiss A330-200 with PW 4000 engines

The A330-200 was designed to replace the A300-600R and to compete with the Boeing 767-300ER. The A330-200 program was officially launched in November 1995, and ILFC placed its first order for 13 aircraft in February 1996. The first flight followed on August 13, 1997, and the certification in April 1998.

The A330-200 is largely identical to the A330-300, with the exception of the fuselage, which has been shortened by ten frames. The length has been reduced by almost six meters, resulting in a maximum passenger capacity of 256 passengers in three classes. Other important differences are a higher vertical stabilizer and an additional fuel tank, which increases the range to 12,500 km.

The A330-200 is operated by Air China , Alitalia , Azul Linhas Aéreas , Avianca , Gulf Air , Air France / KLM , China Eastern , China Southern , Emirates , Etihad , Air Namibia , Turkish Airlines , Delta Air Lines , Eurowings , Qantas , Oman Air , TAM , Hong Kong Airlines and TAP Air Portugal .

Because this variant in particular sells very well and the Boeing 767 took up almost the entire market, Boeing launched a new aircraft program that is intended to compete with the A330-200 in particular. This program, initially named 7E7 , is now selling very successfully as the Boeing 787 .

In 2009, Korean Air ordered a version of the A330-200 with a higher takeoff weight of 238 tonnes, which increases the range to a maximum of 13,334 kilometers.

By February 2020, Airbus had received orders for 660 machines, of which 640 had been delivered. Two were destroyed by the Tamil Tigers and two machines were lost in crashes (see text ).


Under the name ACJ330 ( Airbus Corporate Jetliner ), formerly A330 Prestige, a special variant of the A330-200 that is tailored to individual customer requirements is offered. Wealthy private customers and commercial airlines are the main customers of this type. It is offered for 25 passengers as standard and has a range of 14,800 km.

At the EBACE 2017 in Geneva, Airbus presented the ACJ330neo. The aircraft, based on the A330neo and equipped with RR Trent 7000 engines, can carry 25 passengers in 240 m² of cabin space over distances of up to 17,400 km or cover 20 hours without a stopover.

A330-200 MRTT

A330-200 MRTT

MRTT stands for M Ultimatum R ole T anchor T ransport (dt. Multipurpose tanker trucks ) and refers to the on -air refueling equipped and transports military model A330 MRTT . The MRTT is based on the civil Airbus A330-200 and can carry 111 tons of fuel without additional tanks. As a multi-purpose aircraft, it can also be used as a tanker and carry 300 soldiers or 380 passengers or, instead, carry a payload of up to 45 tons. In addition to the A330 MRTT, the A310 MRTT can still be ordered; this version is created from converted passenger aircraft of the smaller type A310.

Since the Airbus A330 has the same wings as the four-engine A340, it is relatively easy to convert this model for in- flight refueling . Instead of the additional external engines, Cobham 905E hose container systems are added. This type of in-flight refueling allows fuel to be delivered to two recipient aircraft at the same time. Up to 1590 liters of fuel per minute can be dispensed via the collecting funnel hanging on a 27.5 m long hose .

Especially for the A330 MRTT Airbus Military has the tank boom system Air Refueling Boom System (ARBS) redeveloped. It can be extended up to 17 m and has a delivery rate of 4540 l / min. The refueling is controlled via a workstation at the refueling console in the rear. It has the operating and control systems as well as visual contact to the aircraft to be refueled by means of a 2D / 3D camera system (day / night). Instead of the ARBS, another detachable hose system (Cobham 805E) with a delivery rate of 2300 l / min can be attached under the tail of the fuselage. So far, only the Australian Air Force has requested equipment with the ARBS.

The A330 MRTT can refuel a number of different types of combat aircraft, such as the Eurofighter , the F / A-18 , F16 , Sukhoi 30, or large aircraft (other tankers or the A400M transport / tanker ).

The aircraft can optionally also be refueled in the air using a universal aerial refueling receptacle slipway installation (UARRSI) located on the top of the nose section.

After the type received its civil and military type certification in 2010, the first delivery of the A330 MRTT took place on June 1, 2011 to the Royal Australian Air Force .

A modernized variant is in development, the first customer for this is France.


The A330-200 should also be offered as a cargo aircraft . However, after the events of September 11, 2001 , this project was postponed. When the upcoming end of production of the A300 including its cargo variant was announced in early 2006, rumors grew that these plans would be resumed. The original plan was to present the A330-200F to the public during the Farnborough International Airshow . A corresponding press release including the announcement of an order for 30 copies of the new type was briefly posted on the Airbus website . However, this explanation was removed a little later, rumored because of problems with the conclusion of a contract with the first customer. The first firm letter of intent for 20 A330 freighters for the US leasing company Intrepid Aviation was finally announced on January 15, 2007, followed by the first firm order one day later. The first customer is the Indian cargo airline Flyington Freighters , which ordered six aircraft of the Airbus A330-200F for delivery from the end of 2009. This date has been postponed because the A330 / A340 production line was busy due to the high demand for fuel-efficient jets. On November 5, 2009, the first flight took place from Toulouse-Blagnac airport . On the day of the first flight, it was announced that Etihad Crystal Cargo would take over the first Airbus A330-200F in summer 2010.

The A330-200F cargo version at Farnborough Airshow 2010

The new freighter has a slightly higher payload than the previous A300 freight model and a longer range. In the passenger versions of the A330, the cabin floor is slightly sloping towards the front when staying on the ground, as the nose landing gear is slightly shorter than the main landing gear. Because this is not desired when handling freight containers, the A330-200F has a teardrop-shaped bulge at the bottom of the bow in which the nose landing gear is housed. In this way, a higher level of the bow and thus a horizontal cabin floor is achieved. The cargo door is the same as that of an A300 freighter, but is lighter because it is powered electrically rather than hydraulically. The structurally modified fuselage now has only three windows, with the bulkheads and fuselage shells being reinforced for the payload, and an aluminum barrier installed at the end of the hold for crash landings. By removing passenger equipment and using technology from the A380, the machine was 500 kg lighter than Airbus had predicted.

In July 2010 the first Airbus A330-200F was delivered to Etihad Crystal Cargo as part of the Farnborough International Airshow .

By February 2020, Airbus had received orders for 41 machines, 38 of which had been delivered.


Qatar Airways A330-300
Cabin of an A330-300 of the Russian Vladivostok Avia

The 300 version flew for the first time on November 2, 1992 as the first variant of the A330 family and can carry 295 passengers in three classes (335 in two and up to 440 in one class) over a distance of up to 10,500 km. In addition, a large amount of cargo can be carried - the cargo volume of the A330 is comparable to that of the Boeing 747 . The first aircraft of this type was delivered in 1993.

Two General Electric CF6 -80E1, Pratt & Whitney PW4000 -100 or Rolls-Royce Trent 700 are used as engines. All drives were initially certified for ETOPS -180. Since November 2009, certified airlines have been able to order all A330 types with ETOPS-240.

For several years now, the Airbus A330-300 has seen higher sales again. By February 2020, Airbus had received orders for 785 machines, 771 of which have already been delivered. A machine was lost in a crash (see section Incidents ).

Plan drawings of the A330
A330-203 seating scheme


Since July 1999, all A340 / A330 have been / will be equipped with revised cockpit instrumentation. In particular, the A330-300s with these improvements that have been delivered since then are often incorrectly referred to as the A330-300E and / or A330-300X . The variant designation -300E is neither officially nor unofficially used by Airbus itself. All A330-200 and -300 with revised instrumentation continue to run as A330 without an additional E after the type designation.

However, together with the revised instrumentation, Airbus began to offer a variant for the A330-300 with a higher maximum take-off weight of 230 to 233 t (normal A330-300: 212 to 217 t) and an additional medium fuel tank for a range of up to 10,834 km. This variant is unofficially known as the A330-300X.

The designation -300X does not refer to the cockpit instrumentation, but exclusively to the increased take-off weight and the increased range. The majority of the A330-300s delivered since July 1999 are -300X, so they have the additional fuel tank. According to the current status, the only exceptions are all Airbus A330-300s from Qantas , Qatar Airways and China Airlines , which therefore do not have the additional X in the type designation.

A330-300 regional

As the successor to the discontinued Airbus A300-600 , the medium-haul variant A330-300 Regional / Domestic was presented in September 2013. The main difference to the normal A330-300 is the reduced take-off mass and fuel capacity, which on the one hand should reduce the stress on the structure with more frequent flight cycles and on the other hand save costs through lower airport charges. In accordance with the reduced take-off mass, the engines were slightly reduced in performance and optimized for longer maintenance intervals and cost reductions. With typically 356–400 seats, seat costs similar to those of an A321 should be achieved. The regional option is to be marketed primarily to airlines from India, China and similar high-growth aviation markets in which A330 long-haul versions are already in use in the short and medium-haul range. The A330-300 Regional is also getting a revised cabin and a modernized cockpit with HUDs . With a maximum take-off weight of around 200 tons, the range is just over 5500 km. The Saudi Arabian airline Saudi Arabian Airlines was the first customer to order 20 Airbus A330-300 Regional.


At the 2007 Paris Air Show in Le Bourget , Airbus announced that it had been approached by Intrepid Aviation , a buyer of the A330-200F, about the possibility of a cargo version of the Airbus A330-300. According to the company, this possibility is already being investigated with cargo airlines such as FedEx , DHL and UPS Airlines . A schedule has not yet been announced.

A330 P2F

After the decline in demand for the A300-600 - freighter conversions , Airbus A330-200 and A330-300 and for a Passenger to Freighter (P2F) on conversion program. The conversion will be carried out again at Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW) ; the Supplemental Type Certificate is issued by ST Aerospace , which acquired a 35 percent stake in EFW in February 2013. Airbus plans 10 to 15 conversions per year. The A330-200 P2F will be able to carry 30% more payload than an A300-600F with 10% more volume. The A330-300 P2F has 3–4% lower operating costs than the A300-600F. The first used machine of the -300 series was accepted in March 2015 for the production of the prototype, the delivery to the first customer DHL Aviation took place on December 1, 2017. The prototype of the A330P2F was the machine with the serial number MSN116. The start of conversion for the -200 series followed in March 2017.

A330-700L "Beluga XL"

A330-743L Beluga XL on its first flight, July 2018

The Beluga XL (technical name A330-700L ) is a variant of the A330 for transporting aircraft parts between the Airbus production sites. Six Beluga XL are to replace the five predecessors A300B4-600ST Beluga , which have been in use since 1995, between 2020 and 2023 . The first Beluga XL was put into service on January 9, 2020.


At the beginning of the 2010s, studies began to develop a successor to the Beluga . Airbus justified the redesign with the age of the heavily used Beluga fleet and the additional capacities required, especially for the series production of the Airbus A350 XWB . One reason for choosing the A330-200F as the base model over the almost five meter longer A330-300 was its ability to be more compatible with the short length and maximum landing weight of the runway at Hawarden Airport at Airbus' Broughton plant.


On November 17, 2014, Airbus announced the start of development of the Beluga successor. The Beluga XL can transport two wings of the A350 thanks to the one meter wider and six meters longer cargo hold and a six-tonne higher load capacity . The cargo aircraft has a fuselage diameter of 8.80 m, a wingspan of 60.30 m, a height of 18.90 m and a length of 63.10 m. With a maximum payload of 53 tons, a maximum take-off mass ( MTOW ) of 227 tons and a cruising altitude of 37,000 ft (11,278 m), the range should be 2200  NM (4075 km). Two Rolls-Royce Trent 700s serve as the drive . The production of the first components for the Beluga XL started at the end of 2015, the final assembly of the prototype with the type designation A330-743L (43 stands for the engine type) and production serial number MSN 1824 at the end of 2016.

The superstructures of the aircraft based on the front fuselage section of the A330-200 and the rear of the A330-300 have been redeveloped. This applies to the striking, lowered bow, the structure of the cargo hold including the bow door, wings and fin. On July 10, 2018, the two Trent 700 engines of the first Beluga XL ( aircraft registration F-WBXL) were started for the first time . The maiden flight followed on July 19, 2018 in Toulouse. Commissioning was planned for 2019 after a test phase of just under a year; in February 2019, two A350 wings were flown for the first time from Bremen to Toulouse. On March 19, 2019, Airbus presented the second copy, on April 10, 2019, Airbus announced that it would build six instead of five copies.

Continuous improvements

In the course of the history of the A330 program, Airbus has made several improvements to increase the maximum take-off weights and / or ranges. At the Air Show in Farnborough in the summer of 2012, Airbus announced that the A330-300 should in future be available with a takeoff weight of 240 tons and a range of approx. 11,000 km (with 300 passengers). The also improved variant of the A330-200 has a range of approx. 13,000 kilometers and 2.5 tons more payload with the same takeoff weight with 246 passengers. The improvements also include changes to the engines and aerodynamic optimization of the wings. The first flight of the improved aircraft type took place on January 12, 2015. The first aircraft was delivered to the first customer Delta Air Lines in 2015 .



A330-900neo on its first flight on October 19, 2017 in Toulouse

Since 2011, some airlines have expressed their wish to equip the A330 with a new generation of engines similar to the A320 family . AirAsia in particular was one of the proponents of such a project. On July 14, 2014, Airbus officially launched the A330neo at the Farnborough Air Show. The Airbus A330neo (= New Engine Option) is offered in two versions that replace the two previous versions. They are known as the A330-800neo and A330-900neo. The A330-800neo replaces the A330-200 and the A330-900neo replaces the A330-300. A Trent 7000 unit from Rolls-Royce is used as the engine. The span has been increased by 3.7 m compared to the previous version. Airbus wants to reduce costs by 14 percent compared to the previous A330 model. Availability was announced at the launch from the end of 2017. The A330neo also has new winglets that are similar to those of the Airbus A350 , a more modern cabin with more seats and an updated cockpit. The first flight took place on October 19, 2017 in Toulouse. In September 2018, the A330-900 received type certification from Europe's flight safety authority EASA .

Final assembly of the first A330-800neo began in November 2017, with the maiden flight planned for mid-2018. In February 2018, however, Hawaiian Airlines, the only customer of this version for the time being, canceled an order for six aircraft, until in July 2018 both the Ugandan government and Airbus confirmed a letter of intent for Uganda Airlines for two A330-800neo and in October 2018 Kuwait Airways for eight A330s -800neo ordered. The first A330-800 aircraft took off on its four-hour maiden flight on November 6, 2018, the A330-900 had its maiden flight on October 19, 2017. On November 26, 2018, the first A330-900 was delivered to TAP Air Portugal , which operated its first scheduled flight from Lisbon to São Paulo on December 15, 2018.

The A330neo has been approved for ETOPS-330 (compared to the A330ceo with ETOPS-240), so the A330neo may be a maximum of 330 minutes away from an alternate airport on its flight route and can thus fly more direct routes than the ceo.

Important orders

A total of 125 letters of intent for the two A330neo versions were signed at Farnborough Airshow 2014 . The largest comes from Air Asia X for 50 A330-900neo aircraft.

Tabular listing

Only the firm orders officially listed in the Airbus order books (July 31, 2020) are listed:

airline A330-800 A330-900 total
MalaysiaMalaysia AirAsia X 000 078 078
FranceFrance Aircalin 000 002 002
United StatesUnited States Air Lease Corporation 2 000 023 023
SenegalSenegal Air Senegal 000 002 002
IsraelIsrael Arkia Israeli Airlines 000 002 002
IrelandIreland Avolon 2 000 009 009
SingaporeSingapore BOC Aviation 2 000 002 002
PhilippinesPhilippines Cebu Pacific 000 016 016
United StatesUnited States CIT Leasing 2 000 025th 025th
United StatesUnited States Delta Airlines 000 035 035
IndonesiaIndonesia Garuda Indonesia 000 012 012
United StatesUnited States GECAS 2 000 012 012
IranIran Iran Air 000 028 028
KuwaitKuwait Kuwait Airways 008th 000 008th
IndonesiaIndonesia Lion Air 000 002 002
LebanonLebanon Middle East Airlines 000 004th 004th
PortugalPortugal TAP Portugal 000 012 012
UgandaUganda Uganda Airlines 002 000 002
United KingdomUnited Kingdom Virgin Atlantic 000 008th 008th
Unnamed buyer 004th 046 050
total 014th 318 332
2These are leasing companies .

Discontinued version planning


The A330-100 was an unrealized project intended to replace the A310 and A300 . This version was to have a fuselage that was shortened again compared to the A330-200 and thus had the same passenger capacity as the types to be replaced. Structural plans included combining the fuselage of the A330 with the wing of the A300-600, later the use of the A330 wing was considered in order to preserve the commonality in the A330 family. The model was to become a competitor for the Boeing 767-300ER and Boeing 767-400ER .


Like the A330-100, the A330-500 was ultimately an unrealized project for a shortened A330. It should be 54.6 meters long and in normal three-class seating, it should be able to carry 222 passengers 13,000 km. This meant that the A330-500, like the A330-100, was intended to replace the A310 and A300. In 2000 the project was presented at the Farnborough Air Show with a planned commissioning date in 2004. The world's largest leasing company ILFC , among others, expressed their interest, but demand fell short of expectations, so that Airbus stopped work on the A330-500 project and concentrated on developing the A380 .

Sales and usage

List of orders and deliveries based on samples

As of July 31, 2020

A330-200 A330-200F A330-300 A330-800 A330-900 All in all
List prices (in USD million)

176.3 to 185.5

180.6 to 187.7

195.9 to 205.7


Orders: 660 41 785 14th 318 1818
Deliveries: 642 38 771 0 46 1497
In operation: 606 38 746 0 46 1436

The biggest customers

As of July 31, 2020

Airbus A330-200 Airbus A330-200F Airbus A330-300 Airbus A330-800 Airbus A330-900
ILFC 1 68 Turkish Airlines 9 Cathay Pacific 49 Kuwait Airways 8th AirAsia X 78
CIT Leasing 1 36 Avianca 6th China Southern 34 Uganda Airlines 2 Delta Airlines 35
China Eastern Airlines 33 BOC Aviation 1 , Qatar Airways , Etihad Airways 5 China Eastern 33 Iran Air 28
Air China 30th Malaysia Airlines 4th ILFC 1 , Turkish Airlines 30th CIT Leasing 1 25th

1 These are leasing companies

The biggest operators

As of July 31, 2020

Airbus A330-200 Airbus A330-200F Airbus A330-300 Airbus A330-800 Airbus A330-900
Air China , China Eastern Airlines 30th Turkish Airlines 9 Turkish Airlines 40 TAP Air Portugal 19th
Hawaiian Airlines 24 Qatar Airways 8th AirAsia X 39 delta 5
Etihad Airways , QANTAS 18th Avianca Cargo 6th China Southern Airlines , Saudia 32 Azul , Lion Air 4th


The aircraft that made the longest glide in 2001
  • The first accident of an Airbus A330 occurred on June 30, 1994 at 5:41 p.m. when a test aircraft of the type A330-321 ( aircraft registration F-WWKH , MSN: 42) used by Airbus during take-off at Toulouse-Blagnac airport due to a Pilot error while simulating an engine failure crashed in a nearby wooded area. All seven inmates were killed. In memory of the occupants and the crew, this Airbus was symbolically buried next to the Airbus factory Clément Ader. The crash site can be visited as a memorial (see also Airbus-Industrie-Flight 129 ) .
  • On March 15, 2000, an Airbus A330-300 operated by Malaysia Airlines (9M-MKB) suffered a total loss because oxalyl chloride escaped from incorrectly declared chemical canisters . After the flight from Beijing Airport to Kuala Lumpur, a pungent odor was found while the cargo was being reloaded, and five airport employees were poisoned. Because the substance attacks metals, the aircraft was shut down for safety reasons. The Chinese freight company had to pay $ 65 million in damages.
  • On July 24, 2001, two SriLankan Airlines A330-200 (MSN: 336, 4R-ALE and 341, 4R-ALF ) were devastated by a terrorist attack by the separatist organization Tamil Tigers, along with an A320-200 and an A340-300. These aircraft made up almost 30% of the fleet of the SriLankan Airlines at that time (4 of 14 aircraft).
  • On August 24, 2001, an Air Transat A330-200 (C-GITS) ran out of kerosene during the flight from Toronto to Lisbon due to a fuel leak, whereupon the pilots under Captain Robert Piché managed the longest glide flight of a jet aircraft. The unpowered flight lasted about 19 minutes, with a distance of 120 kilometers, before an emergency landing was carried out at the Lajes Field military airfield in the Azores . The first engine failed at an altitude of 39,000 feet, approximately 12 kilometers. The electrical and hydraulic supply of the aircraft was ensured by means of the ram-air turbine . There were no fatalities, 18 people suffered minor injuries. The aircraft had to be repaired due to the damage caused by the hard landing and the emergency braking (see also Air Transat flight 236 ) .
The Airbus A330-203 with the registration number
F-GZCP which was destroyed on Air France flight 447 at Paris CDG Airport in March 2007
  • On July 15, 2014, an Airbus A330-200 operated by Libyan Airlines (5A-LAS) was destroyed by rocket fire at Tripoli Airport, and five days later an Airbus A330 operated by Afriqiyah Airways (5A-ONF) .

Technical specifications

Parameter A330-200 A330-200F A330-300 A330-800neo A330-900neo A330 "Beluga XL"
length 58.98 m 63.66 m 58.98 m 63.66 m 63.1 m
span 60.30 m 64.00 m 60.3 m
height 17.39 m 16.88 m 16.83 m 17.39 m 16.79 m 18.9 m
Hull diameter 5.64 m 8.8 m
Cabin width 5.28 m
Range approx. 13,400 km approx. 7,400 km approx. 11,300 km approx. 13,900 km approx. 12,130 km approx. 4,074 km with maximum payload (53 t)
Top speed Maximum cruising speed of Mach 0.82 or 870 km / h

Top speed Mach 0.86 or 912 km / h

Mach 0.86
Max. Altitude 12,500 m
Max. Takeoff mass 238 t 233 t 235 t 242 t 227 t
Max. Landing mass 182 t 185 t (187 t option) 186 t 191 t 187 t
Empty mass 120 t 109 t 122 t 125 t
typical number of seats one class: 404 (404 Eco)
two classes: 293 (30 Business, 263 Eco)
three classes: 253 (12 First, 36 Business, 205 Eco)
- one class: 440 (440 Eco)
two classes: 335 (30 Business, 305 Eco)
three classes: 295 (12 First, 42 Business, 241 Eco)
maximum (only Eco): 406

typical: 252 (36 Business, 216 Eco)

maximum (only Eco): 440

typical: 310 (36 Business, 274 Eco)

Max. Cargo capacity 27 LD3 containers to 3 LD3 containers
+ 8 pallets
+ 19.7 m³ bulk cargo
70 t
(18 SBS + 4 SR containers
or 20 SR containers)
32/33 LD3 containers up to 11 pallets
+ 19.7 m³ bulk cargo
(like A330-200)? (like A330-300)? 53 t
Engines two General Electric CF6 -80E1A4
two PW4168
two Rolls-Royce Trent 772
two General Electric CF6 -80E1A2
two PW4168 / 4164
two Rolls-Royce Trent 768/772
two Rolls-Royce Trent 7000s two Rolls-Royce Trent 700s
Thrust see text 2 x 302-320 kN
Max. Fuel capacity 139,090 liters or 109,185 kg 97,530 liters 97,286 liters or 76,370 kg 139,090 liters or 109,185 kg
Power supply two 115  V ~ , 400  Hz , 115  kVA engine-driven generators
one 115 V ~, 400 Hz, 115 kVA driven by the auxiliary gas turbine
two on-board batteries, 28 V  - , 37  Ah
one APU battery, 28 V -, 37 Ah
First flight August 13, 1997 November 5, 2009 2nd November 1992 November 6, 2018 19th October 2017 19th July 2018
Commissioning April 1998 ( Canada 3000 ) July 20, 2010 ( Etihad Cargo ) January 17, 1994 ( Air Inter ) planned for 2020 November 26, 2018 ( TAP Air Portugal ) January 9, 2020 ( Airbus Transport International )

See also


  • Dietmar Plath and Karl Morgenstern: Airbus A330 / A340. The great Europeans . Motorbuch Verlag, 1998, ISBN 3-613-01728-8 .
  • Dietmar Plath and Karl Morgenstern: Airbus: history - company - aircraft types . Motorbuch Verlag, 2005, ISBN 3-613-02566-3 .
  • Achim Figgen, Dietmar Plath, Brigitte Rothfischer: Commercial aircraft: the new type paperback . GeraMond-Verlag, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-7654-7051-6 .
  • Robert Hewson: Airlife's Airliners: 16, Airbus A330 and A340 . Airlife Publishing Ltd, Shrewsbury, England 2002, ISBN 1-84037-341-5 .
  • Norbert Andrup: Airbus. From the A300 to the A380 and A350 . 1st edition. Motorbuch Verlag, Stuttgart 2011, ISBN 978-3-613-03330-6 .

Web links

Commons : Airbus A330  - collection of images
Commons : Airbus A330-743L Beluga XL  - Collection of images

Individual evidence

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This article was added to the list of excellent articles on September 18, 2009 in this version .