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EASA has approved the A330-900 for ETOPS (Extended-range Twin engine aircraft Operations) “beyond 180 minutes” diversion time. With this certification operators of the Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 powered A330neo can fly long-range routes beyond 180 minutes flying time.
The approval, which includes ETOPS 180 min. capability in the aircraft’s basic specification, now also includes the option for “ETOPS 285 min.” This extends the potential air diversion distance to around 2,000nm. The US FAA’s respective ETOPS certification is expected soon.
A330neo operators which choose the ETOPS 285 min. option will be able to serve new direct ‘non-limiting’ routings.
Meanwhile, operators flying on existing routes (currently flown with up to 180-minute diversion time) will be able to traverse a straighter, quicker and more fuel efficient path, and also have access to more – and possibly better equipped – en-route diversion airports if needed.
In 2009, the Airbus A330-200/-300 became the first airliner family to gain an ETOPS ‘Beyond 180min’ certification, which was granted by EASA. Airbus twin-engine airliners have accumulated over 20 million ETOPS flight hours, most of which have been accumulated by the A330 Family.