As of October 2021, more than 20,000 orders have been placed for Airbus aircraft. The European aircraft manufacturers’ wide-body planes, specifically, can be found flying all over the world and are the backbone of numerous global airlines.
But one aircraft just hasn’t resonated with customers, the A330-800neo. Only 15 aircraft have been sold as of October 2021 since the A330neo program launched in 2014 to counter the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Airbus designed the aircraft to be a more efficient version of the A330-200 as part of an upgrade for the popular A330 family of aircraft. The A330-200, a commercial success, earned 662 orders over its life and 598 of the 647 aircraft that were delivered to customers are still flying.
Powering the A330neo family is the Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 that Airbus says helps reduce fuel consumption and emissions by “25% compared to its previous-generation aircraft.” Also aiding in its efficiency are new wings with composite winglets.
As a newer variant with more efficient engines, the A330-800neo had a good chance of riding on the success of its predecessor. But only four airlines have placed orders for the A330-800neo including Kuwait Airways, Uganda Airlines, Air Greenland, and Gaurda Indonesia, making the aircraft among Airbus’ worst-selling aircraft in its history.
Center-aisle seats are alternatively ideal for couples traveling together or travelers with companions. But for those seated in one of the paired “honeymoon” seats, as they’re known, a partition helps maintain privacy.
The remaining 210 seats are the domain of economy class across two sections.
“It’s a fairly simple story: the Dash 200 was always at a bit of a disadvantage because it’s a shrink [of the A330-300,]” Richard Aboulafia, vice president of analysis at Teal Group, told Insider. And the same applies to the A330-800neo.
The A330-800neo also has no shortage of competition, whether it be from the Boeing 787 Dreamliner or even smaller aircraft in the Airbus lineup. Narrow-body aircraft, including the A321neoLR, offer range capabilities that allow them to fly upwards of nine hours.
And the airlines that want the extended range capabilities of the A330neo compared to a narrow-body are finding it more cost advantageous to buy up the A330-900neo.
Azul Brazilian Airlines, for example, chose the A330-900neo over the A330-800neo despite only having the A330-200 in its wide-body fleet prior to the purchase.
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