LISBON – Airbus delivered the first commercial A330-900 to TAP Air Portugal. The airline received the improved plane of the conventional A330, with more than a year of delay.
The delivery of the first commercial A330NEO was delayed several times due to issues with the Rolls Royce Trent 7000 engines. Nevertheless TAP is very happy with the delivery: “Through continuous innovations, the A330NEO, our newest widebody aircraft, will offer maximum value and efficiency to our customers and superior comfort to their passengers.”
The Launch customer of the plane features the new Airspace by Airbus cabin and is configured with 298 seats, of which 34 are in Business Class, 96 in Economy Plus and 168 in Economy Class. The Airspace by Airbus Cabin has larger handluggage bins, a new in-flight entertainment system, WiFi and a new lightning system.
The plane is mainly going to fly to South-America, where it will replace the older A330’s and A340’s. TAP has a fleet of 72 planes including their A330’s and A320’s. TAP’s subsidiary, TAP Express, has a fleet of 21 Embraers and ATR-72’s.
Airbus is struggling to sell the new A330. A total amount of 242 orders from 15 customers have been placed for the fuel efficient plane. Air Asia is by far the biggest customer with 100 orders, TAP Air Portugal follows later with 21 orders. Included in the customers is Iran Air with 28 orders, however after president Trump imposed sanctions against Iran, there is still a big question mark behind this order.