LISBON, Portugal—Airbus S.E. delivered the first of its A330neo widebody aircraft to TAP Air Portugal here last week. The A330-900 jet is the first of 20 to be supplied to the carrier in the coming year. The second variant, the A330-800 recently completed its first flight and will make its commercial debut with Kuwait Air in 2020.
The A330neo, or new engine option, is an updated and more fuel-efficient version of the OEM’s widebody series. Besides Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, the jets have a new higher span wing design with Sharklet tips for optimized aerodynamic performance.
The new jet’s profile is said to bring a significant (25 percent) reduction in fuel consumption compared to the previous-generation of a competing widebody design. The design also includes composite nacelles, a fully faired titanium pylon, and zero-splice air-inlet technology that enhance the aircraft aerodynamics and acoustics.
TAP Air Portugal operates a fleet of 72 Airbus aircraft. The A330-900 jets are leased from Avolon, and will be deployed on routes from Portugal to the Americas and Africa.