The Airbus A330neo began its endurance and online testing on commercial routes. As a final step in the aircraft certification phase, these function and reliability tests, also known as route proving, will include ETOPS (Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards) missions, landing at diversion airports and testing airport handling services.

From June 18, 2018, two A330-900 flight test aircraft and the TAP customer aircraft will be involved in intensive flight test programme, which will reach 1,000 flight hours during a tour across Airbus plants.

Route proving tests are performed with the first A330-900 production aircraft. The aircraft first flew on May 15,  2018, launching flight tests to check cabin systems such as air conditioning.

Already sporting the livery of its launch operator Tap Air Portugal, the plane will make its first evaluation flight from Toulouse to Lisbon on June 19, 2018. In total, A330neo will land in 15 major airports worldwide in order to achieve 150 more hours of flights tests over five continents. The route proving tests form part of the final trials required for aircraft Type Certification scheduled for summer 2018.

Launched in July 2014, the A330neo Family is the new generation A330, comprising two versions: the A330-800 and A330-900 sharing 99 percent commonality.. The A330neo is powered by Rolls-Royce’s Trent 7000 engines and features a new wing with increased span and new A350 XWB-inspired Sharklets.

Airbus already received 214 firm orders for its re-motorized A330, its biggest customer for the model being AirAsia X’s with an order for 66 A330-900. However, 28 of planes could be at risk if Airbus was to comply with the U.S. sanctions against Iran, as they were ordered by Iran Air.

If Airbus plans to reduce its output to 60 planes in 2018 and 50 in 2019 once its assembly lines have been fully transitioned from the ceo to the neo version of the aircraft, the European plane maker expects a surge of orders around 2020, as the first A330ceos will need to be replaced.