Delta’s First Airbus A330neo Completes Initial Test Flight in France

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The first Airbus A330neo to fly in Delta Air Lines’ livery completed its initial test flight Tuesday. The wide-body jet took off from Airbus’ assembly line near Toulouse in southern France and returned after completing the flight.

The A330neo – “neo” stands for new-engine option – is Airbus’ next-generation update of its A330 wide-body jet. Delta has 35 of the planes on order, with the first expected to be delivered in the coming weeks.

Delta will be the North American launch customer for the A330neo. The aircraft is expected to enter passenger service for the carrier on July 1, when Delta puts the A330neo on its flights between Seattle and Shanghai.

Delta will configure its A330neos with 281 seats, including 29 Delta One Suites that feature lie-flat seats. Delta’s version of the jet also will include 28 Premium Select seats in the carrier’s international-style premium economy cabin and 56 extra-legroom Delta Comfort economy seats. The remaining 168 are standard “Main Cabin” economy seats.

MORE: Delta’s Branded Approach to Selling Seats by Tiers Is Here to Stay

Delta says the planes will be used to help it phase out older jets – including some of its aging Boeing 767-300ERs – as well as for “measured growth.”

TAP Air Portugal became the world’s first airline to take delivery of an A330neo last year. The airline put the jet into passenger service in December on its route between Lisbon and Sao Paulo. TAP Air Portugal’s first US-route on the jet came last month, when the it added the plane to its Miami-Lisbon route.

Featured image courtesy of Airbus.

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