Airbus delivered its first Airbus A330neo to the Portuguese carrier TAP Air Portugal on Monday. It is the first of 21 aircraft to be delivered.

The first part of the delivery event took place at the A330 Final Assembly line. The event moved to the Delivery Center and included a presentation by Crawford Hamilton, Head of A330neo Marketing.

This aircraft made its first flight on October 19th, 2017 and was certified at the end of September 2018.

Hamilton emphasized that the A330neo has a larger capacity than its competitors. The A330-900 has 287 seats, and the A330-800 has 257 seats.

Crawford Hamilton, Head of A330 Marketing

The A330neo is intended for airlines looking to replace first-generation A330-200/300s but also to replace other aircraft in other airlines fleets like the 747 or 777. A330neo sales will likely reach their peak around 2034 when old A330s reach retirement age.

The introduction of a new A330 variant will help airlines to streamline their fleets. Carriers won’t have to pay for additional extensive training for its A330 crews, cutting costs and expediting operations. This is ideal since it allows airlines to simplify their fleet, cutting costs and streamlining operations.

TAP has more than 30 years of partnership with Airbus and will soon have a completely revitalized fleet with A320neo, A321neo, and A330neo aircraft.

“I am delighted to welcome the first Airbus A330-900 into our expanding fleet. Its unbeatable economics and efficiency will power our business forward,“ said Antonoaldo Neves, CEO of TAP Air Portugal. “The A330neo will give us a lot of operational flexibility thanks to its commonality with the other Airbus aircraft in our fleet. This aircraft will be the first equipped with the new Airspace cabin, which is a new concept shaped to meet TAP’s ambition to offer the best product in the industry to our passengers.”

“Handing over the first ever A330neo to a long-standing Airbus customer, TAP Air Portugal, is a very important milestone for Airbus,” said Guillaume Faury, President of Airbus Commercial Aircraft. “Through continuous innovations, the A330neo, our newest widebody aircraft, will offer maximum value and efficiency to our customers and superior comfort to their passengers. This occasion marks another step forward to meeting our industry’s goal for sustainable aviation.”

TAP will acquire a total of 71 aircraft from Airbus until 2025: 21 A330neos, 16 A321neos, 22 A320neos, and 14 A321LRs.

The new A330neo, CS-TUB, will fly to Lisbon on Wednesday. TAP plans to use this aircraft on some of their long-haul routes to South America and USA, starting with its Lisbon to Sao Paulo route which has played a pivotal role in its route network for many years.

Featured image by Airbus

All other images by Catarina Madureira/Aeronautics Online