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The airplane that no one wanted has finally taken off. On Tuesday, the first Airbus A330-800 completed its maiden voyage in the skies over France.

It took off from Blagnac airport in Toulouse, France, at 10:37am local time. The widebody aircraft is registered as MSN1888 but does not appear to be registered with Flight Aware yet, so its flight path was not available.

The A330-800 takes off on its first ever flight. Image courtesy of H. Goussé / Airbus.

The first flight puts it one step closer to receiving its airworthiness certification, which it expects to receive in 2019 and after another 300 flight hours.

The A330-800 is part of the A330neo family but took years for it to attract any customers. Last month, Kuwait Airways signed an agreement to purchase eight of the aircraft.

However, the larger A330-900 has seen much more commercial success — more than 224 orders have been placed. TAP Portugal will receive the first -900 in just a few weeks time.

The -800 is a “neo” aircraft, or new engine option — meaning it has better fuel efficiency than its predecessors. It has a range of 8,150 nautical miles and can seat 257 passengers.

Powered by new Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines and equipped with an Airspace cabin that features mood lighting and more overhead bin space, the A330neo program is Airbus’ lower cost answer to the Boeing 787 program and an alternative to its premium A350 long-haul jet.

Featured image courtesy of Airbus.

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