Delta Air Lines has taken delivery of the first Airbus A330-300 offering an increased, 242-tonne maximum take-off weight (MTOW).
Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines is the first carrier to receive the increased-MTOW Airbus A330-300. To date, 11 customers worldwide have selected the 242-tonne-MTOW option.
Delta Air Lines has selected GE Aviation CF6-80E1 engines to power its new A330-300.
Launched in 2012, the increased take-off weight A330-200 and A330-300 incorporate a new aerodynamic package, engine improvements and an optional center fuel tank (this last feature only for the A330-300 version).
These upgrades on the A330-300 allow for an extended range of up to 6,100 nautical miles, while offering a fuel-consumption reduction of up to 2 per cent, according to Airbus.
The new Airbus A330-family optional upgrades received airworthiness approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in April and was awarded parallel certification by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) earlier this month.
Delta brought 100 employees – each a member of Delta’s Chairman’s Club – to the May 28 delivery ceremony for the first 242-tonne-MTOW A330-300, an event which took place at Airbus’ widebody assembly-line and headquarters facility at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport.
The group is selected by employee peers annually from 10,000 nominees in Delta’s most prestigious employee-recognition program.
“As the launch customer and launch operator of the 242-tonne A330-300, Delta is demonstrating its continued confidence in the performance and comfort of the A330, which has been part of the airline’s fleet for 12 years,” said John Leahy, Airbus’ chief operating officer – customers.
“The higher take-off weight allows the airline to fly both transatlantic and transpacific routes, all in unrivaled comfort, with operational reliability over 99 per cent,” said Leahy. “The 242-tonne A330 clearly paves the way for the A330neo and A350 XWB to join Delta’s fleet in the next few years.”
Delta Air Lines, Airbus’ biggest A330 customer in North America, operates Airbus single-aisle and widebody aircraft. Its Airbus fleet includes 57 A319s and 69 A320s, as well as 11 A330-200s and 21 A330-300s.
In addition to nine more 242-tonne-MTOW A330-300s and 45 A321s still to be delivered to Delta, the airline ordered 25 Airbus A350-900s and 25 A330-900neos last year.