TAP’s new aircraft choice on worldwide test flight before delivery
Smoother, economical and with a new seating design and layout, the new Airbus 330-900neo aircraft is being flown by TAP pilots on a round-the-world series of test flights, before the company starts to take delivery of the first of 53 aircraft on order.
A batch of 14 aircraft, ordered in 2016 from the Toulouse-based manufacturer, is heralded by an A330-900neo which was delivered to TAP in April, after test flights in France, in March.
This aircraft now is off around the world, flying in TAP livery with Portuguese crew members on board.
The aircraft is being tested during a grueling schedule to check the aircraft has no teething problems. Starting in Lisbon the A330neo is off to Rio de Janeiro, returning to the Lisbon and then off to São Paulo, Recife and Miami.
By the end of June, the A330neo will continue its test flight programme by flying to Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Jakarta, Bangkok, and Mauritius.
Finally, on the last stage, the new TAP plane flies to New Delhi, Reykjavik, Chicago and Atlanta and then goes back to the Airbus factory in Toulouse for analysis.
Antonoaldo Neves, TAP’s Chief Executive, commented that, “the new A330neo, which will soon join our fleet, marks yet another important milestone in the plan to transform TAP into the company with one of the most modern fleets in the world. It allows us to continue to affirm Portugal as the Atlantic hub for air transport and TAP as a relevant player between Europe, Africa and the Americas, contributing to the economic growth and development of Tourism in our country.”
This aircraft is part of a series of rolling contracts with Airbus which is to supply TAP with one A320neo, two A321neo and one A330neo this year. In 2019 the French, German, English and Spanish company will supply three A320neo, three A321neo, two A321LR and six A330neo as TAP upgrades it tired fleet.
The Portuguese airline will be the first operator in the world to fly a new A330-900 neo which is equipped with newly designed AirSpace cabin interiors, “passengers, as well as TAP crew members, will benefit from a new travel experience provided by this innovative cockpit design encompassing comfort, environment, service and design,” says TAP.
The new A330 has the latest generation Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines and improved aerodynamics to give fuel reductions of 14% per seat, making this model the most efficient wide-body airplane and able to carry a maximum of 440 passengers per flight.
TAP owners David Neeleman and Humberto Pedroso pledged to upgrade the company’s fleet when their Atlantic Gateway company successfully was chosen to bring TAP into the current century.
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