published: 2018-03-13 09:00:05
Air China Limited is the flag carrier and one of the major airlines of the People’s Republic of China, with its headquarters in Shunyi District, Beijing. Air China’s flight operations are based in Beijing Capital International Airport. In 2013, the airline carried 51 million domestic and international passengers with an average load factor of 81%.
Air China introduced its new Airbus A330-300 to long-haul operations beginning with services to Düsseldorf, Germany in summer 2011. These aircraft provided the same two-class cabin standard as the Airbus A330-200 except that the economy cabin had no seat-back entertainment system installed (with the exception of the first two economy rows which also had increased legroom). Düsseldorf is now the third German destination on the Air China network. The airline launched a new Beijing-Milan-Malpensa service on 15 June 2011, complementing the airline’s existing service to Milan from Shanghai.
The A330-300 is based on a stretched A300 fuselage 63.69 m (208 ft 11 in) long but with new wings, stabilisers and fly-by-wire systems. The −300 carries 295 passengers in a three-class cabin layout, 335 in two-class, or up to 440 in an all-economy layout. It has a range of 10,500 km (5,670 nmi; 6,520 mi). It has a large cargo capacity, comparable to that of early Boeing 747s. It is powered by the choice of two General Electric CF6-80E, Pratt & Whitney PW4000, or Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines, all of which are ETOPS-180 rated. The −300 entered service in January 1994.
In 2010 Airbus offered a new version of the −300 with the maximum gross weight increased by two tonnes to 235 t. This enabled 120 nmi extension of the range as well as 1.2 t increase in payload. In mid-2012, Airbus proposed another increase of the maximum gross weight to 240 t. It is planned to be implemented by mid-2015. This −300 version will have the range extended by 400 nmi and will carry 5 t more payload. It will include engine and aerodynamic improvements reducing its fuel burn by about 2%. In November 2012, it was further announced that the gross weight will increase from 235 t to 242 t, and the range will increase by 500 nmi or 926 km or 575 mi to 6,100 nmi (11,300 km; 7,020 mi). Airbus is also planning to activate the central fuel tank for the first time for the −300 model.
In September 2013, Airbus announced a version of the A330-300, named A330 Regional. This version is to have seating for 400 passengers, with a reduced range of 3,000 nautical miles (5,560 km; 3,450 mi) and a gross weight of approximately 200 t (441,000 lb).
As of January 2016, 748 -300s had been ordered, 646 of which had been delivered, with 629 in operation. The 2015 list price is $253.7 million. The closest competitors have been the Boeing 777-200/200ER, and the now out-of-production McDonnell Douglas MD-11.