Airbus, the internationally renowned aircraft manufacturer, is pleased to announce the successful increase in production rate for its versatile wide-body aircraft A330. The A330 has enjoyed plenty of commercial success, highlighting Airbus’ ability to produce wide-body aircraft that fit today’s operator needs across the entire world.
The A330-200 and its sister – the longer A330-300 – commercial jetliner versions, are the two common A330 aircraft types in operation. Elsewhere, the family includes the A330-200F freighter, the A330 multi-role tanker aircraft, the ACJ330 corporate derivative, and two planes currently in production that have been optimised for fuel efficiency – the A330neo’s 800 and 900 variants.
Taking effect at the beginning of next year, production will rise from six aircraft every month to seven. It’s a case of the order book being full and Airbus, which employs more than 60,000 people across France, Spain, Germany and the UK, wanting to meet the needs of its customers sooner rather than later. As of January this year, the company had 1,610 A330s on order, 1,261 of which have already been delivered.
The A330 Family Programme’s head honcho Eric Zanin said the A330 had enjoyed particular success in recent months across China, South Africa and Saudi Arabia. This increase in commercial success was added to by the aircraft’s military derivative which meant an increase to seven planes instead of six per month was needed.
The latest innovation in the family – the A330neo – will see its first public flights in late 2017. Airbus envisages its newest aircraft will help it confidently tackle an emerging market. Indeed, the A330neo offers a number of benefits over rival aircraft with its increased range of 400 nautical miles, better economics and greater passenger comfort with wider seats in economy class.
Component production is expected to reach new levels in the summer of 2016 when Zanin said Airbus’ increased production capacity would become “real”.