The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has approved the A330-800 for Extended-range Twin-engine Operations (ETOPS) “beyond 180 minutes” diversion time, Airbus announced on April 21, 2020.
The approval for the -800 includes ETOPS 180 minutes capability in the aircraft’s basic specification and the option for “ETOPS 285 minutes”. The transpacific range capability of the aircraft was extended to up to 8,150nm. The over 285 minutes option prolonged the potential air diversion distance to around 2,000nm.
The A330neo variant does not have a similar approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, the U.S. governing body, but Airbus expects to achieve one “soon”.
The smaller of the two A330neos, the Airbus A330-800 received its joint-type certificate from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on February 13, 2020.
The aircraft was certified with a maximum take-off weight of 242 tons and is able to travel 7,500 nautical miles (13,890 kilometers). At the time, Airbus spokesperson confirmed to AeroTime that the company was developing a higher MTOW version that would allow the aircraft to weigh 251 tons at take-off, resulting in a range of 8,150 nautical miles (15,100 kilometers). The first flight was planned in 2021, with the certification to follow the same year, stated the Airbus representative.