Airbus has cited a slight delay in the development of the A330neo powerplant following the shift in entry into service to early 2018.
The airframer’s latest expectation for the maiden flight of the re-engined jet is the first half of 2017, commercial aircraft president Fabrice Bregier disclosed during a briefing in Toulouse.
Rolls-Royce is “a little bit late” with developing the Trent 7000 engine for the aircraft, he says, but stresses that this is “not due to [engine] performance”.
He says the engine manufacturer has been facing a “cumulative effect” of production of powerplants for the A350-900 and -1000 as well as the Boeing 787.
But Bregier also notes that Airbus has the flexibility to push the A330neo entry into service – originally set for the end of this year – into the first half of 2018.
He states that the airframer’s recent success with baseline A330 sales has taken the pressure off the production transition, and that launch operator TAP Portugal’s plans for 2018 service entry are “compatible” with the new A330neo timeline.
Airbus chief operating officer for customers John Leahy also indicated that the airframer is looking to squeeze greater performance out of the A330neo, by exploring options for extending the type’s range.