FARNBOROUGH: A330 line to be all-Neo before 2020

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Airbus aims to complete the transition to all-A330neo production by the end of 2019, following its launch of the re-engined type.

The airframer is intending to introduce the initial variant, the A330-900neo, before the close of 2017 and roll its output over to the new type exclusively during 2018-19.

Airbus has a backlog of 232 passenger A330s, mostly the larger -300, but it is also producing the type at a rate of 10 per month.

Chief operating officer for customers John Leahy says there are “a couple of hundred holes to fill” in terms of pre-transition slots for the current A330.

But he is confident that the popularity of the type will enable Airbus to bridge the gap to the beginning of A330neo production.

“There are good and solid reasons to buy [current A330s] today,” says Leahy. “We expect to maintain production.”

Airbus’s A330 line also includes the A330-200 freighter but the backlog amounts to just 11 aircraft, and sales of the type – particularly in the weak cargo market – have been soft.