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PICTURE: A330-800 enters final assembly

Airbus has commenced final assembly of the first A330-800, the smaller of the two variants of the re-engined A330neo.

Just six A330-800s are on order, all for Hawaiian Airlines, but the airframer is progressing with manufacture of the twinjet.

Airbus recently started the flight-test campaign for the larger A330-900. Both variants are powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines.

The -800's first flight is likely to take place in mid-2018, says the airframer.

Its basic 242t version will have a range of 7,500nm while a new higher-weight 251t version will extend this to 8,150nm.

Airbus has based the -800 on the A330-200.

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