Airbus has secured European certification for its A330-200 freighter, with the twin-jet attaining a slightly higher payload capability than originally expected.

It has obtained European Aviation Safety Agency certification after putting the aircraft through a 200hr flight-test regime. The tests involved airframes equipped with both Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney engines.

Airbus says the aircraft has achieved a payload capability of 70t. The airframer has previously specified a 69t payload over 3,200nm (5,930km) or 64t over 4,000nm (7,400km).

It states that the higher payload follows "some design optimisation".

"With the freighter market already showing signs of recovery, rising by 20% so far this year, we now have a great new aircraft to offer customers," says Airbus' A330 chief engineer Christian Favre.

EASA has certified the aircraft by amending the type certificate for the passenger version of the A330-200. Airbus expects corresponding certification from the US FAA.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news