Airbus has secured European certification for the higher-weight version of its A330-300, powered by General Electric CF6 engines.

The European Aviation Safety Agency has approved the 242t variant of the twinjet, on which the re-engined A330neo will be based.

Eleven customers have opted for the higher-weight version as part of their A330 orders.

Airbus says the aircraft underwent a 100h flight-test programme involving two airframes - MSN871 and MSN1628 - before obtaining EASA certification. It adds that US FAA approval is "expected soon".

The older aircraft was used to test aerodynamic improvements while the newer-build jet validated the activation of the centre fuel tank and other performance characteristics.

Engine options for the aircraft will include the Rolls-Royce Trent 700 and the Pratt & Whitney PW4000.

A330 programme chief Eric Zanin says the greater fuel capacity gives the type a 500nm increase in range. The 242t maximum take-off weight capability will also be introduced on the A330-200.

Source: Cirium Dashboard