December 27, 2021

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See Inside the Wide-Body Jet That Airbus Can’t Sell, the A330-800neo

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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.

An Airbus A350-900 XWB at Dubai Airshow.

Thomas Pallini/Insider


Source: Airbus

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.

Uganda Airlines Airbus A330-800neo — Dubai Airshow 2021

A Uganda Airlines Airbus A330-800neo.

Thomas Pallini/Insider


Source: Airbus

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.

Uganda Airlines Airbus A330-800neo — Dubai Airshow 2021

A Uganda Airlines Airbus A330-800neo.

Thomas Pallini/Insider


Source: Airbus

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.

Uganda Airlines Airbus A330-800neo — Dubai Airshow 2021

A Uganda Airlines Airbus A330-800neo.

Thomas Pallini/Insider


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.

Uganda Airlines Airbus A330-800neo — Dubai Airshow 2021

Onboard a Uganda Airlines Airbus A330-800neo.

Thomas Pallini/Insider


The remaining 210 seats are the domain of economy class across two sections.

Uganda Airlines Airbus A330-800neo — Dubai Airshow 2021

Onboard a Uganda Airlines Airbus A330-800neo.

Thomas Pallini/Insider


“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.

Uganda Airlines Airbus A330-800neo — Dubai Airshow 2021

Onboard a Uganda Airlines Airbus A330-800neo.

Thomas Pallini/Insider


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.

Uganda Airlines Airbus A330-800neo — Dubai Airshow 2021

Onboard a Uganda Airlines Airbus A330-800neo.

Thomas Pallini/Insider


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.

Uganda Airlines Airbus A330-800neo — Dubai Airshow 2021

Onboard a Uganda Airlines Airbus A330-800neo.

Thomas Pallini/Insider


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.

Azul Brazilian Airlines Airbus A330-900neo

An Azul Brazilian Airlines Airbus A330-900neo.

SamuelVSilva / Shutterstock.com