TAP Readies For First A330neo Delivery


We were in Toulouse to witness the first take off of the brand new A330neo last October and, finally, after a few months of flight tests, the first production aircraft is almost ready for delivery.

Just ahead of the big day, Airbus has released this video in which you can see how TAP's first A330neo is going through the paint shop to get the colours of its first operator.

The launch customer? Non other than TAP, of Portugal, an airline whose renovation and remarkable investment programme we have had the chance to cover closely over the past couple of years (including a rather unique retro flight celebrating TAP' heritage at a time of change!).

TAP has made of the Airbus A330 the flagship of its intercontinental expansion, that has included the addition of new routes into the US and Canada, to add to the Portuguese carrier traditional strongholds in Africa and Brazil.

The new A330neos, of which TAP has 14 on order, are all going to be of the A330-900neos, the most popular version of the type by far (the -800 version, whose first aircraft was unveiled just a few days ago, is not selling very well, actually).

These 14 A330-900neos will replace part, but not all, the current A330-200 fleet, a strong signal of what TAP expects in terms of growth in the coming years.

In fact, besides the 9 A330-200s that are expected to be replaced, the rest of the fleet has been retrofitted with new cabin interiors. We had the chance to see the installation of some of them in situ during a visit to TAP's MRO hangar in Lisbon.

The A330-900neos will sport the state-of-the-art Airspace by Airbus cabin, a new generation cabin design concept that has generated quite some expectation in the industry.