I was just reading your latest post on someone asking, " What if an engine catches fire in the air? " I understand that the Boeing 777 is one of the safest airlines but I did not get to read much about Airbus A330 in your website. May I know what do you think of the Airbus A330?
It seems like many airlines are using Airbus to those places which are less than 7 or 8 hours. I will be flying on A330 in a few days' time and hope to hear about this from you. I am trying to calm myself down and be prepared to fly
Thanks so much.
The Airbus A330 (two engines) is a large-capacity, wide-body, medium-to-long-range commercial passenger airliner. It was developed at the same time as the Airbus A340 (4 engines), and will likely be replaced by the Airbus A350. The first Airbus A330 was launched in 1987 and introduced into passenger services in 1993.
The A330's fuselage and wings are virtually identical to that of the smaller A340 variants. The A330 basic fuselage design is inherited from the Airbus A300, as is the nose/cockpit section, the fly-by-wire system and flight deck from the A320.
By the end of December 2007, a total of 870 A330s had been ordered and 515 delivered. The cost of the Airbus A330 is around USD175 million each.
What do I think about this plane?
Well, the Airbus A330 is almost comparable to the Boeing 777. In some respect, its software is even better than the Boeing 777 but I think it lost out in the hardware aspect of the plane.
Prior to the British Airways Boeing 777 crash in London Heathrow on 17 January 2008, the Boeing 777 had a clean record where hull loss was concerned. (A hull loss is an accident in which the damage to the plane is such that it must be written off, or in which the plane is totally destroyed.)
In the case of the Airbus A330, it has 2 hull-loss accidents with a total of 7 fatalities. One arose on a test flight in Toulouse and the other was caused by corrosive liquid illegally loaded onto the plane. The 7 Airbus A330 fatalities were in fact the crew and personnel involved with the test flight and so one can say that no commercial passengers have so far been affected in the 15 years that it has flown.
However, there were three other occurrences with no fatalities on this plane. In July 2001, two Sri Lankan Airlines A330s were destroyed on the ground by the Tamil Tiger Guerillas. Then in August 2001, an Air Transat A330 suffered fuel starvation on both engines over the Atlantic Ocean and glided without power over 65 miles to a safe landing on the Azores Islands. The last incident occurred in July 2003 where a Dragonair A330 encountered severe turbulence over the South China Sea. 12 crew members and 3 passengers were injured. The aircraft landed safely at the Hong Kong International Airport.
My conclusion on the A330 is that, it is a very safe airplane but because of its wing design, any turbulence tends to be more pronounced than, for instance, on a Boeing 777. But then, one should not be afraid of turbulence - it is only an issue of discomfort rather than one of safety. Have yourself well strapped in during turbulence and I am sure you will enjoy your flight on the Airbus A330!
Have a look at the video below on the Airbus A330, A340 and the A350...