Home AviationManufacturersAirbus Airbus A330-800 Receives FAA and EASA Certification

Airbus A330-800 Receives FAA and EASA Certification

by Ankur Deo

Earlier, we had reported on how and why the Airbus A330neo is such an intriguing aircraft in Airbus’ lineup of sophisticated airplanes. In a latest report from the FAA and EASA, the US and European regulators have certified the smallest of the Airbus A330neo model, the A330-800 to carry passengers and thereby, start operations with airlines commercially.

The A330-800 test flight. Image Credits: Airliners.net

Certification of the A330-800 by the respective regulators comes after the aircraft (registered MSN1888) successfully completed 132 test flights, with a total of 370 flight hours, since November 2018, when it took off for the first time. Airbus has not yet revealed the launch customer of A330-800, or the delivery date of the aircraft. However, with orders from only Uganda Airlines and Kuwait Airways in addition to one undisclosed customer, the potential list is quite short.

With a capacity of 250 passengers, range of 13,900km, and take-off weight of 242 tonnes, the A330-800, powered by two Rolls Royce Trent 7000 engines, is perfectly positioned to fill the spot in the industry that was previously dominated by the Boeing 767s and A330-200s. It is safe to say thereby, that the orders for the A330-800 shall pick up significantly after a couple of years, once carriers start phasing out the 767s and A330-200s. Accordingly, Garuda Indonesia has signed a letter of intent to take four A330-800s, Air Greenland has also recently disclosed plans to acquire a single aircraft.

However, production of the A330-800 beyond the prototype was previously in doubt, after the initial launch customer, Hawaiian Airways, was choosing between the A350-900 and the 787-9 instead. Finally, in March 2018, Hawaiian confirmed the cancellation of its order for six A330-800s and ordered ten 787-9s. However, in July 2018, a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) from Uganda National Airlines Company for a couple -800 variants revived interest in the aircraft. Additionally, eight firm orders by Kuwait Airways in October 2018 strengthened the -800’s order-book.

With more airlines excepted to turn to the -800 after phasing their A330-200s and 767s, future for the variant definitely looks bright. The A330-900 has 323 orders as of date, with a mere 14 orders for the -800. However, it is easy to see that with the A321neo, the A321XLR, the A330-800 and -900, Airbus has indeed created a strategic lineup that would appeal to a gargantuan audience! What so you think of the the A330neo’s smaller variant? Will it create niche position in the market? Let us know in the comments!

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