Toulouse - Airbus is under pressure of customers because of the delivery delays of the new A330-900 jet. The manufacturer is still trying to solve problems that prevent the aircraft from being approved and delivered for commercial operations.
The launch customer TAP Air Portugal was expecting to receive the first Airbus A330neo in 2017, but so far there is no known date for the Portuguese national airline to start operations with it. According to the European manufacturer, the carrier will receive its first copy in the next few days.
The A330-900neo has undergone an intense test campaign including the first production plane painted in TAP colors. The aircraft received approval on November 9 for ETOPS operations, which is required to fly over the Atlantic, for instance.
Delta Air Lines ordered 25 A330-900 in 2014 and ten more copies this week. Although Airbus claims the first delivery in April 2019, it may be in 2020. The aircraft did not obtain certification from the FAA yet.
The Brazilian low-cost operator Azul is another company complaining about the delivery delay of the new wide-body. According to company executives who told Flight Global, Azul no longer expects to receive the aircraft even next year.
The company, which leased five copies after canceling an A350 order, expects to receive the jet in 2020 although it scheduled the airplane's debut date for May 2019. The original plan was to take delivery of the device at the end of 2018.
Delays in deliveries would be linked to problems in the Airbus's production line, according to press reports. The manufacturer has been struggling with issues on its A320neo line as well, complicating the plans of several customers.
The situation of the A330-900neo, however, is less severe than that of its younger sister, the A330-800. The jet carried out its maiden flight a few weeks ago and still suffers from lack of demand. The only customer of the device is Kuwait Airways with eight units.
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