The A330 is a twin-engined version of the Airbus A340: it is roughly the European equivalent of the Boeing 767. Airbus launched and developed the A330 and A340 at the same time, starting the program in 1987: both aircraft share the same fuselage and wing design, differing mainly in their engines. The A330 did not make its first flight until 1992, well after the A340's. It holds the distinction of being the first aircraft simultaneously certified by the FAA and JAA.

The first production A330-300 was delivered to France's Air Inter in 1994. In 1998, Airbus released the 200 variant, which is shorter and has a longer range than the original 300. Both models remain popular in airline service as more efficient alternatives to the A340, 767, and 777: major operators include Aer Lingus, Air Canada, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Garuda Indonesia, Gulf Air, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Swiss, Thai Airways International, and US Airways.

Most A330's are seen on high-density trans-Atlantic and transcontinental routes.


                       A330-300                A330-200
Length               208'1" (63,6m)         193'7"  (59,0m)
Wingspan                         197'10" (60,3m)
Seating (2-class)         335                    293
Range              5,600 nm (10.400 km)   6,450 nm (11.950 km)
Airspeed                           Mach 0.86
Takeoff Weight                  251 tons (230 mt)
Landing Weight      198 tons (180 mt)      203 tons (185 mt)

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