Uganda Airlines A330 prospects firm-up as -800neo secures joint European, US licence to flyUganda Airlines will operate a mix of A330neo’s for the long haul network and shorter range Bombardier CRJ’s for the regional feeder network
Airbus’s A330-800 neo, the aircraft Uganda Airlines ordered for its long haul operations is ready for commercial operations after securing joint Type Certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the United States. Airbus announced the achievement February 13, opening the way for deliveries to the three customers including Uganda Airlines, who have ordered a total of 14 units of the type.
The aircraft’s certification flight-test campaign was successfully performed by one aircraft MSN1888, which completed the programme in 370 flight test hours and 132 flights. The A330-800 first took to the skies in November 2018.
Uganda Airlines was the first airline to commit to the type with an order for two units during the Fanborough Air Show in June 2018. The flag carrier expects to receive the first aircraft in December 2020 followed by the final delivery in January 2021.
The other customers for the type are Kuwait Airways with an order for 8 and an unnamed customer with an order for eight examples.
The certification means the aircraft has satisfied all technical parameters and opens the way for commencement of deliveries.
The A330-800neo’s range of 15,000 kilometres, means that Uganda Airlines can mount flights to most destinations on the globe from its Entebbe base.
“The A330-800 is the most efficient longest range entry-level widebody and incorporates new Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, a new 3D-optimised wing and new Sharklets using lighter composite materials. Together, these advances bring a significant reduction in fuel consumption of 25 per cent compared with older generation competitor aircraft of similar size,” says Airbus.
The aircraft has been certified to carry between 220 and 260 passengers in a three class configuration over a distance of 7,500 nautical miles. Although the -800 represents less than 5 percent of the 337 firm orders garnered by the A330 neo family from 22 operators, analysts say its prospects will pick up when retirements of the relatively young fleet of the baselines A330-200 start in a few years’ time. .