Airbus A330neo receives greater ETOPS capability
The Airbus A330neo has received greater capability with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) approving ETOPS (Extended-range Twin-engine aircraft Operations) ‘beyond 180 minutes’ for the aircraft.
Recently entering service with TAP Air Portugal with ETOPS 180 minutes capability, the A330-900 now has the option to fly routes with a diversion airport up to 285 minutes away. Certification from the U.S Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is expected in the near future.
The 285 minute rule will allow airlines to fly new routes that were previously not able to be achieved under the existing ETOPS rule. Additionally, airlines will have the ability to adjust flight plans to send the aircraft on straighter routes, allowing for faster travel times and greater fuel efficiency.
Rolls-Royce received certification for ETOPS 330 minute operations on their Trent 7000 engines in December, allowing for the A330neo to now receive the extended time. Initially subject to inspections due to ongoing Trent 1000 issues, Rolls-Royce and Airbus now remain firm that the A330neo won’t suffer from similar problems found on Trent 1000 powered Boeing 787 Dreamliners.
Airbus states the increased ETOPS approval for the aircraft comes from the demonstrated performance found on the A330-200 and A330-300 aircraft that have consistently proved to airlines and authorities their system maturity.
The A330neo Family (A330-900 and A330-800) has been developed from the original A330 Family and features the latest generation of turbofan engines. Additionally, the new 3D-optimized wing made from new materials and featuring revised components means the aircraft is able to consume 25% less fuel compared to older generation aircraft in the same size category.
Looking back ten years ago to 2009, the first airliner family to receive ETOPS ‘beyond 180 minutes’ certication was the A330 Family, which has gained over 1,700 orders (including the neo) from 120 customers worldwide.
For more on the A330neo, see the following articles: