Airbus to launch rebranded A330-800/900neo: sources

Fri Jul 11, 2014 3:16pm EDT
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By Tim Hepher

LONDON (Reuters) - European planemaker Airbus will both revamp and rebrand its A330 passenger jet at a launch expected to kick off next week's Farnborough Airshow, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

The A330-800neo and A330-900neo will be upgraded versions of the A330-200 and A330-300 respectively and include some cabin improvements and 400 nautical miles more range, while Airbus will also study ways of improving the use of floor space.

As reported by Reuters in June, next week's announcement will highlight at least 14 percent greater fuel efficiency and a new version of the Rolls-Royce Trent engine, but will also accelerate the end of the poor-selling A350-800.

Airbus declined to comment.

"We do not comment on the usual air show noise," a spokesman said.

Leasing companies are expected to be among the initial buyers, but it was not immediately clear whether the launch would be subject to further board approvals.

In service since the 1990s, the A330 is Airbus's biggest-selling wide-body jet.

Sales have been stronger than expected recently due to delays in producing the newer Boeing 787. But that advantage is evaporating and Airbus now wants to refresh the design in order to defend its position in the lucrative 250-300-seat market.   Continued...

The logo of Airbus Group is seen during the first public flight of an E-Fan aircraft during the e-Aircraft Day at the Bordeaux Merignac airport, southwestern France, April 25, 2014. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau