TAP Air Portugal has taken delivery of the world’s first new generation wide body A330neo today at Airbus’ Toulouse headquarters. As the launch airline, TAP will be the first to benefit from the aircraft’s unbeatable operating economics, increased range, and Airbus’ new Airspace cabin offering passengers the best-in-class comfort. The Portuguese carrier will take delivery of further 19 new Airbus A330-900neo until the end of 2019.

TAP Air Portugal’s first A330-900 features 298 seats in a comfortable three-class lay-out with 34 full-flat business class, 96 economy plus and 168 economy class seats. The Airspace by Airbus cabin offers more personal space, larger overhead storage bins, advanced cabin lighting and the latest generation in-flight entertainment system and connectivity, such as Wi-Fi. The aircraft will be deployed on routes from Portugal to the Americas and Africa.

“I am delighted to welcome the first Airbus A330-900 into our expanding fleet. Its unbeatable economics and efficiency will power our business forward. The new Airbus A330-900neo consumes about 20% less fuel than our current fleet. By the end of next year, 37% of our medium haul fleet will have these new generation aircraft, and in the long haul fleet more than 70% of the block hours will be assured by these new aircraft,” said Antonoaldo Neves, TAP Air Portugal’s CEO. “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,“ he added.

“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 Airbus Commercial Aircraft. “Through continuous innovations, the A330neo, our newest wide body 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,” he added.

The A330neo is a true new generation aircraft building on the A330’s success and leveraging on A350 XWB technology. It incorporates the highly efficient new generation Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, and a new higher span 3D optimised wing with new sharklets fully optimized for the best aerodynamic performance. Together these advances bring a significant reduction in fuel consumption of 25 percent compared with older generation competitor aircraft of a similar size. Moreover, new composite nacelles, a fully-faired titanium pylon and zero-splice air inlet technology provide the A330-900 with state-of-the-art aerodynamics and acoustics.

Airbus and TAP already have a long and happy relationship, dating back to 1987, when TAP commissioned three Airbus A310 aircraft. Today, TAP Air Portugal operates an Airbus fleet of 72 aircraft: 18 A330s, four A340s and 50 from the A320 family (A319, A320 and A321).

This year alone, TAP has already received six new Airbus aircraft: one Airbus A319ceo, one Airbus A320ceo, one A320-251neo, two A321-251neo – the last of which last week – and, now, TAP receives the first Airbus A330neo in the world for its long haul fleet.

Original source - Breaking Travel News

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