Joining its bigger A330neo brother, the Airbus A330-800 received its joint-type certificate from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on February 13, 2020. The wide-body started its flight test campaign in November 2018, when it first took to the skies.
All in all, the aircraft with the Manufacturer Serial Number (MSN) 1888, performed 132 test flights, spending 370 hours in the skies. The first built A330-800 performed its latest flight on February 13, 2020, departing from Brest Bretagne Airport, France (BES) at 10:55 AM local time (UTC +1) towards Toulouse Blagnac Airport, France (TLS), flightradar24.com data indicates.
The plane is certified with a maximum take-off weight of 242 tons and is able to travel 7,500 nautical miles (13,890 kilometers). Airbus indicates that a three-class configuration will be able to seat between 220 and 260 passengers, while a high-density all-economy layout will raise the capacity of the aircraft to 406 people on board.
The bigger version of the A330neo, the -900, can fit between 260 and 300 travelers in a three-class layout or 440 in all-economy seating with a range of 7,200 nautical miles (13,400 kilometers).
And the big brother is more popular amongst customers: out of the total 337 orders for the A330neo, Airbus has only logged 14 orders for the A330-800. Airbus delivered 45 units of the A330-900, which entered service in 2018 with TAP Air Portugal.
The second member of the #A330neo Family, the #A330-800 receives Joint Type Certification by @EASA and @FAAnews. Deliveries of the lowest financial risk, entry-level widebody are ready to start mid-2020.
The second member of the #A330neo Family, the #A330-800 receives Joint Type Certification by @EASA and @FAAnews. Deliveries of the lowest financial risk, entry-level widebody are ready to start mid-2020.https://t.co/pOmZLHpA4N pic.twitter.com/Oov8gaunPR
— Airbus PRESS (@AirbusPRESS) February 13, 2020
But Airbus is not done with the A330-800 just yet. The manufacturer is in the process of developing a higher MTOW version that would allow the aircraft to weigh 251 tons at take-off, resulting in a range of 8,150 nautical miles (15,100 kilometers), an Airbus spokesperson confirmed to AeroTime. The A330-800 with a higher MTOW is planned to operate its first flight in 2021, with the certification to follow the same year, stated the Airbus representative.
Airbus plans to start deliveries of the A330-800 to airlines in mid-2020.
Image: Jordan Tan