Europe's TUI Travel PLC has become a new direct customer for Airbus, with an order for two A330-300s that will be operated by its...

Europe’s TUI Travel PLC has become a new direct customer for Airbus, with an order for two A330-300s.

The European travel group has ordered the aircraft for its French airline subsidiary Corsairfly. The two A330-300s will each have a maximum take-off weight of 235 tonnes (518,086lb), 2 tonnes more than any A330-300s delivered to date. The airline will operate its new A330-300s on its long-haul routes from Paris Orly Airport to the French Caribbean islands and North America, and also to Indian Ocean destinations.

Corsairfly’s A330-300s will be configured in two classes with a total of 362 seats, 26 in business class and 336 in economy class. The aircraft will be delivered in 2012, according to Wikipedia.

The airline already operates two leased A330-200s, which are being reconfigured to seat 26 in business class and 280 in economy class. Corsairfly is known for operating Boeing 747-400s configured to carry more passengers than do any other in-service aircraft, its 747-400s having been outfitted to seat 587 or 582 passengers. However, Corsair is reconfiguring its remaining 747-400s to carry a mere 532 passengers, 36 in business class and 496 in economy.

Corsairfly Airbus A330-200 F-HCAT is seen on final approach to runway 24R at Montréal-Trudeau International Airport. The airport has the IATA code YUL and ICAO code CYUL. Corsairfly, whose parent TUI Travel PLC has ordered two A330-300s for the carrier, has operated its leased A330-200s in a configuration featuring 18 business-class and 307 economy-class seats, but is increasing each A330-200's business-class cabin to 26 seats and reducing its economy-class cabin to 280 seats

“We are delighted with this decision by TUI Travel to buy Airbus A330 aircraft,” says Pascal de Izaguirre, managing director of Corsairfly. “We already experience excellent performance from the A330-200s we currently operate and these new aircraft with a track record of spectacular efficiency, reliability and low operating costs will allow us to perfectly match our new strategy. Moreover, aircraft commonality, unique to Airbus, will allow us to meet our restructuring-program target.”

The Airbus A330-300 is able to accommodate seat and class configurations to suit diverse customer requirements. It has a range of up to 5,600 nautical miles (10,400km) with a typical 300-passenger load. Orders for the aircraft stand at more than 480.

The A330 family spans 200 to 400 seats for passenger variants and also includes freighter, VIP, and military transport/tanker variants. The A330 family has now attracted orders for more than 1,100 aircraft.

TUI Travel’s order brings the number of Airbus customers to 324.