This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
The newest version of the Airbus A330 was first announced in 2014 and is intended to give the A330 program new legs to continue into the 21st century. While “neo” stands for “new engine option,” the modifications don’t stop with newer, more efficient and quieter Rolls-Royce Trent engines. The updated aircraft will have lighter, wider and more efficient wings as well as an updated cabin interior — which we got to see for the first time in April 2016:
Today’s A330neo maiden voyage lasted 4 hours, 15 minutes and marks the first of many flights as part of its certification process, consisting of approximately 1,400 flight-test hours needed to certify the new types. Airbus got some great shots of its newest bird, showcasing the new blended winglets at the tip of the wings:
This aircraft (designated MSN1795, or the 1795th A330 / A340 off the assembly line) is one of three that will be used exclusively for testing. Two of the A330-900s will be manufactured and tested across 1,100 hours with an additional 300 hours on the smaller A330-800. The two jets are available only with Rolls Royce engines, as opposed to the current A330s, the 200 and 300 models, which both offer a choice of General Electric, Pratt & Whitney or Rolls.
The aircraft manufacturer hopes to complete the A330-900 certification process by mid-2018. Launch customer TAP Portugal expects to receive the first of its 14 A330neos around this time. To date, Airbus has received 206 orders from 10 airlines for the A330-900 — including 25 from Delta to replace its aging Boeing 767s.
Testing of the smaller A330-800 isn’t expected to be completed until 2019. So far, Airbus has received only one order for this type: 6 from Hawaiian Airlines. This is the aircraft Hawaiian is looking forward to using to launch direct flights between Europe and Hawaii.
Are you looking forward to getting a chance to ride on Airbus’ newest aircraft?
The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees