Four months after entering the A330 Final Assembly Line at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport, and less than two months after its maiden flight, the first 242-tonne maximum take-off weight (MTOW) variant of the A330 has rolled out of the Airbus paint shop after final painting.
The 242-tonne-MTOW Airbus A330-300 has been painted in the livery of Delta Air Lines, the launch customer for the new, higher-gross-weight version of the aircraft.
Following the initial flight-testing of the new A330-300 variant, its engines were removed, the painting of the airframe and the engines taking place separately.
This first, new higher-weight variant of the A330-300 is powered by two GE CF6-80E1 engines and will be delivered this year to Delta Air Lines.
Delta Air Lines is a major Airbus A330 customer, with 11 A330-200s and 21 A330-300s already in service and 35 more on order, in the firm of 25 A330-900neos and 10 242-tonne A330-300s.
In addition, Delta has 25 Airbus A350-900 widebodies on order.
Delta also operates 57 Airbus A319s and 69 A320s (all inherited from its merger with Northwest Airlines, which originally ordered the aircraft) and has 45 A321s on order.
The 242-tonne-MTOW A330 is the platform for the future A330neo family and offers a range extended by up to 500 nautical miles compared with lower-MTOW A330s, as well as up to 2 per cent lower fuel consumption.
According to Airbus, the 242-tonne A330 will also exhibit the same 99.4 per cent operational reliability as lower-weight A330 models
The 242-tonne-MTOW A330 is capable of flying missions up to 15 hours, the manufacturer says.