First Operator Of Type On Mainland
consortium Airbus announced Thursday that Air China has taken
delivery of the airline's first A330-200, becoming a new operator
of the aircraft type on the Chinese Mainland. Configured in a
two-class layout, the aircraft provides room for 283
The official delivery ceremony was held at Chengdu Shuangliu
International Airport in Sichuan Province, where Air China's
Southwest Branch is located. The first A330-200 in Air China's
livery flew over from Toulouse, France on June 7, and arrived at
Chengdu today. It will be put into service on Air China's routes
connecting Chengdu, Lhasa, Lingzhi and Jiuzhaigou.
"We are delighted to welcome the first A330-200 to our fleet. It
will further consolidate our leading position in the high-altitude
route operation in China's domestic market," said Mr. Tan Zhihong,
President of Air China Southwest Branch."The A330-200 will also
effectively increase our operating flexibility whilst providing
unmatched comfort for our passengers."
Air China Southwest Branch was founded in October 2002. It
currently operates an Airbus fleet of six A340-300s and 11 A319s,
connecting over 80 domestic and international destination
"We are proud to see that Air China has once again selected our
A330 family of aircraft to further expand its fleet," said Airbus
President and CEO Gustav Humbert. "We are grateful for the
confidence that Air China has shown in Airbus and our products over
the years since we delivered the first A340-300 to Air China in
1997 and we look forward to forging an even closer cooperation with
Air China in the future."
Derived from the longer fuselage A330-300 with a range of up to
6,750nm, the A330-200 (file photo of type, above, in Jet
Airways livery) entered into service in 1998. Air China's -200
is powered by Roll-Royce's Trent 700 turbofans.
Airbus reports that to date, over 700 A330/A340-type aircraft
are in operation with almost 80 operators worldwide, with orders
for nearly 300 more aircraft on backlog.
At the end of April 2006, the three major airline groups on the
Chinese Mainland operated 26 A330/A340 family aircraft, with a
further 45 still on order.