Toulouse - The A330neo has embarked on a world tour to prove that it is ready to enter into service. Route Proving constitutes the final stage of the certification process of the aircraft.
The A330-900, MSN1819, will mainly perform ETOPS missions, landings at various airports and ground handling operations. The aircraft will be en route for 15 major airports on five continents, with the goal of conducting 150 hours of flight tests.
Endurance testing and route proving are conducted by an A330-900 fully equipped with an "Airspace by Airbus" cabin and the livery of the launch operator, TAP Air Portugal.
The first flight took place on May 15, 2018, marking the start of flight tests. Function and reliability tests are among the final tests required for type certification of the aircraft, scheduled for summer 2018.
To date, two test aircraft are involved in the intensive test program, which will reach 1000 hours of flight during the overflight of European sites.
Headquartered at Lisbon-Humberto Delgado Airport, TAP Air Portugal is expected to receive a total of twenty A330-900neo. The first three aircraft are expected by the end of this year.
Launched in July 2014, the A330neo family represents the next generation of the Airbus A330 and comes in two versions, equipped with Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines and a new, larger wing with wingtip devices (Sharklets) inspired by the A350 XWB.
The A330-900 with 287 seats in standard tri-class configuration, and the A330-800 with 257 seats derived from the A330-200, whose certification is expected in 2019.
As of the end of May 2018, the A330-900 had accumulated 214 firm orders, including 14 for Iran Air. Airbus has no more order for A330-800 in its backlog after the cancellation of Hawaiian's six orders.