Final assembly of the first Airbus A330neo has begun at the manufacturer’s facility in Toulouse, France. The wings of the jet, an A330-900, have been mated to the centre fuselage at the station 40 position of the assembly line.
“We have started with a very tight development schedule and are today right on time,” says Odile Jubécourt, Airbus Head of the A330neo programme. “I am happy to say we are in good shape to meet the high standards of maturity and reliability our customers expect from us and I want to thank the teams for this outstanding achievement.”
Both the A330-800 and -900 will have a new A350-inspired wing with Sharklets coupled with Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines which Airbus claims will reduce fuel consumption by 14% per seat. The neo also offers an additional 400nm range over the existing ceo, giving the A330-900 a 6,550nm range and the A330-800 7,500nm. The manufacturer added the -800 and -900 will share a 99% commonality, while the entire A330 family is 95% common.
Ten customers have ordered the new variants, totalling 186 firm commitments.