TAP Air Portugal has become the launch customer for the Airbus A330neo, taking delivery of the first of 20 A330-900s.

The aircraft is the first to feature the manufacturer’s new Airspace by Airbus cabin concept, which Airbus says offers larger overhead storage bins, “spacious and contemporary lavatories”, wider seats (18 inches in economy) and aisles, unobstructed under-seat foot space and LED technology ambient lighting.

TAP has configured the A330-900 with 34 fully-flat business seats, 96 in Economy Plus, and 168 in economy, for a total of 298 seats. The carrier is set to operate the aircraft on routes to the Americas and Africa.

Commenting on the delivery Antonoaldo Neves, TAP Air Portugal CEO, said:

“I am delighted to welcome the first Airbus A330-900 into our expanding fleet. Its unbeatable economics and efficiency will power our business forward.

“The A330neo will give us a lot of operational flexibility thanks to its commonality with the other Airbus aircraft in our fleet. This aircraft will be the first equipped with the new Airspace cabin, which is a new concept shaped to meet TAP’s ambition to offer the best product in the industry to our passengers.”

Airbus says that operators of the A330neo “will benefit from the 25 percent less fuel burn per seat compared to previous-generation competitors, along with reduced maintenance costs and the A330’s market-leading 99.5 percent operational reliability”.

Earlier this month Airbus carried out the first flight of its forthcoming A330-800neo. Based on the manufacturer’s A330-200 series, the A330-800 is designed to accommodate about 257 passengers in a typical three-class twin-aisle configuration – 30 fewer than the larger A330-900 variant.

airbus.com, flytap.com