The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has approved the A330-900 for ETOPS (Extended-range Twin engine aircraft Operations) ‘beyond 180 minutes’ diversion time.
The approval, which includes ETOPS 180min capability in the aircraft’s basic specification, now also includes the option for ‘ETOPS 285min’. Airbus said this extends the potential air diversion distance to around 2,000nm (3,700km). The US FAA’s respective ETOPS certification is expected soon.
Airbus noted that the A330neo operators which choose the ETOPS 285min 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.