On the delivery side the A330 aircraft has been able to showcase the type superior ability by altogether displacing well established quad engined wide body aircraft flying with airlines like South African Airways and Virgin Atlantic Airways.
On April 5th 2011 Virgin Atlantic Airways began deploying its newly delivered A330-300 on its Trans Atlantic Manchester-Orlando route. The event was significant for the long haul airline which up to that point had never included a twin engine aircraft in its fleet. That tendency changed in December of 2009 when an order for 10 economical ‘green’ A330-300s was placed. The newly acquired aircraft configured in 59 premium Economy and 255 Economy seats will allow the airline to replace Airbus 340-300 ‘quad’ over which the A330 enjoys a 15% fuel economy per seat. On ‘thinner’ routes the aircraft superior operating economics will generate substantially higher yields. With new touch-screen in-flight entertainment system and powered by two Rolls Royce Trent 772B, the Virgin Atlantic model can achieve ranges of up to 5,600 nm / 10,400 km. In the Manchester-Orlando route, Virgin Atlantic will come in direct competition with Delta Airlines which recently went onto the offensive teaming with Air France-KLM to seize control of South Florida gateways to western Europe.
South African airways was also one of the latest airline to take possession of new Airbus 330 again showcasing the type superior operating economics for business benefits. On February 7th 2011 the airline took delivery of the first of six newly ordered A330-200. Again a state-fo-the-art cabin interior seating 36 in Business and 186 in Economy Class along with two Rolls Royce 772B Trent engines will contribute to the aircraft displacing aging four-engined Airbus 340-200/300. The South African Airways deal has brought in lessor AirCastle as agent for a 12 years-3.78% annual rate debt financing transaction with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation backed by France export credit agency COFACE. The South African Airways A330-200 will operate on international routes out of the airline Oliver Tambo International Johannesburg base.