Russian flag carrier Aeroflot has signed a firm contract with Airbus to purchase 11 A330-300 widebodies, in a deal that was widely expected beforehand.
Aeroflot has chosen the Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engine to power its new A330-300s and has ordered 24 Trent 700 powerplants in a deal that Rolls-Royce values at $650 million at list prices.
The Moscow-based airline’s newly ordered A330-300s will feature a two-class cabin layout seating around 300 passengers. The carrier is planning to operate the aircraft on its extended network of long-haul destinations.
Aeroflot was the first Airbus customer and operator in Russia, with A310s entering service back in 1992. It was also the first airline in the CIS to operate the A319, the A321 and (in November 2008) the A330 family, when Aeroflot began operating leased aircraft.
Over the years the carrier’s Airbus fleet has increased substantially. Airbus says that at the moment Aeroflot is flying 64 A320-family aircraft and 10 leased A330s (five A330-200s and five A330-300s), making it the biggest Airbus operator in the region.
Additionally, Aeroflot placed a firm order for 22 A350 XWBs in 2007.
Airbus says it has been developing a successful trans-national cooperation with Russia for more than 15 years. This includes the implementation of a wide range of research and technology projects, the establishment of an Airbus Engineering Centre in Moscow (ECAR), the production of Airbus aircraft components at Russian plants, titanium purchase and the Passenger to Freighter (P2F) program.
The A330-300 is able to accommodate seat and class configurations to suit a range of customer requirements for capacities up to and beyond 300 passengers. It has a range of up to 5,650 nautical miles (10,500 km) with a full passenger load. The A330-300 is optimized for the medium-to-extended range market, according to Airbus.
As of July 19, 2010, orders for all versions of the A330 (including the popular A330-200 and the new A330-200F as well as the solidly selling A330-300) stood at just under 1,100 aircraft.