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A330 Family

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Article Information
Category: Aircraft Family Aircraft Family
Content source: SKYbrary About SKYbrary


Long Range passenger jet manufactured by AIRBUS. Airbus A330 family includes the following modifications:

Aircraft Family Members
ICAO Type Designator Name Length (m)
AIRBUS A-330-200 AIRBUS A-330-200 58.82 m
AIRBUS A-330-300 AIRBUS A-330-300 63.69 m


Aircraft A330-200 A330-200F A330-300
Overall Length 58.82 m192.979 ft 58.8 m 63.69 m208.957 ft
Wingspan 60.3 m197.835 ft 58.8 m 60.3 m197.835 ft
Engines 2 x GE CF6-80E1 (306kN) or
2 x R-R Trent 772 (300kN) or
2 x PW 4173 (308kN) turbofans.
2 x CF6-80E1 or
2 x PW4000 or
2 x RR Trent 700
2 x GE CF6-80E1 (306kN) or
2 x R-R Trent 772 (300kN) or
2 x PW 4000 (308kN) turbofans.
Typical passenger seating 253 Freighter 295
Range (w/max. passengers) 7,250 nm13,427,000 m
13,427 km
44,051,837.303 ft
4,000 nm7,408,000 m
7,408 km
24,304,461.96 ft
6,100 nm11,297,200 m
11,297.2 km
37,064,304.489 ft
Maximum takeoff weight 230 tonnes230,000 kg 233 tonnes 230 tonnes230,000 kg

Accidents & Serious Incidents involving A330 Family

  • A319/A332, vicinity Barcelona Spain, 2012 (On 8 February 2012, a TCAS RA occurred between an Airbus A330 and an Airbus A319 both under ATC control for landing on runway 25R at Barcelona as a result of an inappropriate plan to change the sequence. The opposite direction aircraft both followed their respective RAs and minimum separation was 1.4 nm horizontally and 400 feet vertically. The Investigation noted that the use of Spanish to communicate with one aircraft and English to communicate with the other had compromised situational awareness of the crew of the latter who had also not had visual contact with the other aircraft.)
  • A332 / A332, en-route, near Adelaide South Australia, 2013 (On 20 September 2013, a loss of separation occurred between two en route Airbus A330s under radar surveillance in controlled airspace near Adelaide. The potential conflict was resolved with TCAS RA action by one of the aircraft involved but the TCAS equipment on board the other aircraft appeared to have malfunctioned and did not display any traffic information or generate an RA. The complex pattern of air routes in the vicinity of the event was identified by the Investigation as a Safety Issue requiring resolution by the ANSP and the response subsequently received was assessed as satisfactory.)
  • A332 / A333, en-route, North West Australia, 2012 (On 31 March 2012, after the implementation of contingency ATC procedures for a period of 5 hours due to controller shortage, two Garuda A330 aircraft which had been transiting an associated Temporary Restricted Area (TRA) prior to re-entering controlled airspace were separately involved in losses of separation assurance, one when unexpectedly entering adjacent airspace from the TRA, the other when the TRA ceased and controlled airspace was restored. The Investigation did not find that any actual loss of separation had occurred but identified four Safety Issues in relation to the inadequate handling of the TRA activation by ANSP Airservices Australia.)
  • A332 / RJ1H, vicinity Zurich Switzerland, 2004 (On 31 October 2004, a Loss of Separation occurred between an A330-200, on a low go-around from Rwy 14 at Zurich Switzerland, and an Avro RJ100 which had been cleared for take-off on Rwy 10 and was on a convergent flight path.)
  • A332 / Vehicle, Madrid Spain, 2014 (On 17 October 2014, an Airbus A330-200 crew taking off from Madrid at night detected non-runway lights ahead as they accelerated through approximately 90 knots. ATC were unaware what they might be and the lights subsequently disappeared, and the crew continued the takeoff. A reportedly unlit vehicle at the side of the runway was subsequently passed just before rotation. The Investigation found that the driver of an external contractor's vehicle had failed to correctly route to the parallel runway which was closed overnight for maintenance but had not realised this until he saw the lights of an approaching aircraft.)
  • A332 MRTT, en-route, south eastern Black Sea, 2014 (On 9 February 2014, the Captain of a military variant of the Airbus A330 suddenly lost control during the cruise on a passenger flight. A violent, initially negative 'g', pitch down occurred which reached 15800 fpm as the speed rose to Mach 0.9. In the absence of any effective crew intervention, recovery was achieved entirely by the aircraft Flight Envelope Protection System. The Investigation found that the upset had occurred when the Captain moved his seat forward causing its left arm rest to contact the personal camera he had placed behind the sidestick, forcing the latter fully forward.)
  • A332, Abu Dhabi UAE, 2012 (On 30 January 2012, an Airbus A330 departing Abu Dhabi at night lined up on the runway edge lights in the prevailing low visibility and attempted to take off. The take off was eventually rejected and the aircraft towed away from the runway. Damage was limited to that resulting from the impact of the aircraft landing gear with runway edge lights and the resultant debris. An Investigation is continuing into the circumstances and causation of the incident.)
  • A332, Caracas Venezuela, 2013 (On 13 April 2013, an Air France Airbus A330-200 was damaged during a hard (2.74 G) landing at Caracas after the aircraft commander continued despite the aircraft becoming unstabilised below 500 feet agl with an EGPWS ‘SINK RATE’ activation beginning in the flare. Following a superficial inspection, maintenance personnel determined that no action was required and released the aircraft to service. After take off, it was impossible to retract the landing gear and the aircraft returned. Considerable damage from the earlier landing was then found to both fuselage and landing gear which had rendered the aircraft unfit to fly.)
  • A332, Dubai UAE, 2014 (On 23 October 2014 an Airbus A330-200 made a sharp brake application to avoid overrunning the turn onto the parking gate at Dubai after flight. A cabin crew member who had left their seat prior to the call from the flight deck to prepare doors, fell and sustained serious neck and back injuries. The investigation found that the sudden braking had led to the fall but concluded that the risk had arisen because required cabin crew procedures had not been followed.)
  • A332, Jakarta Indonesia, 2013 (On 13 December 2013, an Airbus A330 encountered very heavy rain below 100 feet agl just after the autopilot had been disconnected for landing off an ILS approach at Jakarta. The aircraft Commander, as pilot flying, lost visual reference but the monitoring First Officer did not. A go around was neither called nor flown and after drifting in the flare, the aircraft touched down with the right main landing gear on the grass and continued like this for 500 metres before regaining the runway. The Investigation noted that prevailing SOPs clearly required that a go around should have been flown.)
  • A332, Karachi Pakistan, 2014 (On 4 October 2014, the fracture of a hydraulic hose during an A330-200 pushback at night at Karachi was followed by dense fumes in the form of hydraulic fluid mist filling the aircraft cabin and flight deck. After some delay, during which a delay in isolating the APU air bleed exacerbated the ingress of fumes, the aircraft was towed back onto stand and an emergency evacuation completed. During the return to stand, a PBE unit malfunctioned and caught fire when one of the cabin crew attempted to use it which prevented use of the exit adjacent to it for evacuation.)
  • A332, Montego Bay Jamaica, 2008 (Prior to the departure of a Thomas Cook Airlines Airbus A330-200 from Montego Bay Jamaica during the hours of darkness and in normal visibility on 28 October 2008, incorrect takeoff speeds had been input to the FMS by the flight crew without this being recognised. When rotation during take off was, as a consequence, initiated too early, the aircraft failed to become airborne as expected. The aircraft commander, acting as PF, quickly selected TOGA power and the aircraft became airborne before the end of the available runway had been reached and climbed away safely.)
  • A332, Perth WA Australia, 2014 (On 26 November 2014, an Airbus A330-200 was struck by lightning just after arriving at its allocated stand following a one hour post-landing delay after suspension of ramp operations due to an overhead thunderstorm. Adjacent ground services operatives were subject to electrical discharge from the strike and one who was connected to the aircraft flight deck intercom was rendered unconscious. The Investigation found that the equipment and procedures for mitigation of risk from lightning strikes were not wholly effective and also that perceived operational pressure had contributed to a resumption of ground operations which hindsight indicated had been premature.)
  • A332, Sydney Australia 2009 (On 4 July 2009, an Airbus A332 being operated by Jetstar Airways on a scheduled passenger flight from Sydney to Melbourne carried a 750 kg ULD which had been expressly rejected by the aircraft commander during the loading operation without flight crew awareness. There was no reported effect on aircraft handling during the flight.)
  • A332, en-route, Atlantic Ocean, 2009 (On 1 June 2009, an Airbus A330-200 being operated by Air France on a scheduled passenger flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris CDG as AF447 exited controlled flight and crashed into the sea with the loss of the aircraft and all 228 occupants. It was found that the loss of control followed an inappropriate response by the flight crew to a transient loss of airspeed indications in the cruise which resulted from the vulnerability of the pitot heads to ice crystal icing.)
  • A332, en-route, North Atlantic Ocean, 2001 (On 24 August 2001, an Air Transat Airbus A330-200 eastbound across the North Atlantic at night experienced a double-engine flameout after which Lajes on Terceira Island in the Azores was identified as the best diversion and a successful glide approach and landing there was subsequently achieved. The Investigation found that the flameouts had been the result of fuel exhaustion after a fuel leak from the right engine caused by a pre flight maintenance error. Fuel exhaustion was found to have occurred because the flight crew did not perform the QRH procedure applicable to an in-flight fuel leak.)
  • A332, en-route, near Bangka Island Indonesia, 2016 (On 4 May 2016, an Airbus A330-200 in the cruise in day VMC at FL390 in the vicinity of a highly active thunderstorm cell described by the crew afterwards as ‘cumulus cloud’ encountered a brief episode of severe clear air turbulence which injured 24 passengers and crew, seven of them seriously as well as causing some damage to cabin fittings and equipment. The Investigation was unable to determine how close to the cloud the aircraft had been but noted the absence of proactive risk management and that most of the injured occupants had not been secured in their seats.)
  • A332, en-route, near Dar es Salaam Tanzania, 2012 (On 27 February 2012, the crew of an Airbus A330 en route at night and crossing the East African coast at FL360 encountered sudden violent turbulence as they flew into a convective cell not seen on their weather radar and briefly lost control as their aircraft climbed 2000 feet with resultant minor injuries to two occupants. The Investigation concluded that the isolated and rapidly developing cell had not been detected because of crew failure to make proper use of their weather radar, but noted that activation of flight envelope protection and subsequent crew action to recover control had been appropriate.)
  • A332, vicinity Brisbane Australia, 2013 (On 21 November 2013, an A330 rejected its take off from Brisbane after an airspeed indication failure. Following maintenance intervention, a similar airspeed indication fault on the subsequent departure was reported to have been detected after V1. Once airborne, reversion to Alternate Law occurred and slat retraction failed. After an air turnback, it was discovered that the cause of both events was blockage of the No. 1 Pitot Head by a mud-dauber wasp nest which was created during the initial two hour turnround at Brisbane. Investigation of a 2014 event to a Boeing 737 at Brisbane with exactly the same causation was noted.)
  • A332, vicinity Melbourne Australia, 2013 (On 8 March 2013, the crew of a Qantas A330 descended below controlled airspace and to 600 feet agl when still 9nm from the landing runway at Melbourne in day VMC after mismanaging a visual approach flown with the AP engaged. An EGWS Terrain Alert was followed by an EGPWS PULL UP Warning and a full recovery manoeuvre was flown. The Investigation found degraded situational awareness had followed inappropriate use of Flight Management System)
  • A332, vicinity Perth Australia, 2014 (On 9 June 2014, a 'burning odour' of undetermined origin became evident in the rear galley of an Airbus A330 as soon as the aircraft powered up for take off. Initially, it was dismissed as not uncommon and likely to soon dissipate, but it continued and affected cabin crew were unable to continue their normal duties and received oxygen to assist recovery. En route diversion was considered but flight completion chosen. It was found that the rear pressure bulkhead insulation had not been correctly refitted following maintenance and had collapsed into and came into contact with APU bleed air duct.)
  • A332, vicinity Tripoli Libya, 2010 (On 12 May 2010, an Afriqiyah Airways Airbus A330 making a daylight go around from a non precision approach at Tripoli which had been discontinued after visual reference was not obtained at MDA did not sustain the initially established IMC climb and, following flight crew control inputs attributed to the effects of somatogravic illusion and poor CRM, descended rapidly into the ground with a high vertical and forward speed, The aircraft was destroyed by impact forces and the consequent fire and all but one of the 104 occupants were killed.)
  • A332/A345, Khartoum Sudan, 2010 (On 30 September 2010, an A330-200 was about to take off from Khartoum at night in accordance with its clearance when signalling from a hand-held flashlight and a radio call from another aircraft led to this not taking place. The other (on-stand) aircraft crew had found that they had been hit by the A330 as it had taxied past en route to the runway. The Investigation found that although there was local awareness that taxiway use and the provision of surface markings at Khartoum did not ensure safe clearance between aircraft, this was not being communicated by NOTAM or ATIS.)
  • A332/B738, vicinity Amsterdam Netherlands, 2012 (On 13 November 2012, a Garuda Airbus A330 and a KLM Boeing 737 lost separation against each other whilst correctly following radar vectors to parallel approaches at Amsterdam but there was no actual risk of collision as each aircraft had the other in sight and no TCAS RA occurred. The Investigation found that one of the controllers involved had used permitted discretion to override normal procedures during a short period of quiet traffic but had failed to restore normal procedures when it became necessary to do so, thus creating the conflict and the ANSP was recommended to review their procedures.)
  • B737 / A332, Seatle-Tacoma WA USA, 2008 (On 2 July 2008, an Air Tran Airways B737-700 which had just landed at night on runway 34C at Sea-Tac failed to hold clear of runway 34R during taxi as instructed and passed almost directly underneath a North West Airlines A330-200 which had just become airborne from Runway 32R. The Investigation found that the 737 crew had been unaware of their incursion and that the alert provided by ASDE-X had not provided an opportunity for ATC to usefully intervene to stop prevent the potential conflict)
  • C340 / A332, Copenhagen Denmark, 2003 (On 8 September 2003, a privately operated Cessna 340 departing the apron at Copenhagen failed to follow its correctly acknowledged taxi clearance and took a different route which led it to pass the holding point of a runway on which an Air Greenland Airbus 330 had just received take off clearance. ATC observed the error and the clearance was cancelled so that no actual risk of collision had existed. The Investigation considered that the taxi error had occurred at a position conducive to such errors and criticised what it considered were the inappropriate designations of the taxiways involved.)
  • A332 / A333, en-route, North West Australia, 2012 (On 31 March 2012, after the implementation of contingency ATC procedures for a period of 5 hours due to controller shortage, two Garuda A330 aircraft which had been transiting an associated Temporary Restricted Area (TRA) prior to re-entering controlled airspace were separately involved in losses of separation assurance, one when unexpectedly entering adjacent airspace from the TRA, the other when the TRA ceased and controlled airspace was restored. The Investigation did not find that any actual loss of separation had occurred but identified four Safety Issues in relation to the inadequate handling of the TRA activation by ANSP Airservices Australia.)
  • A333 / A319, en-route, east of Lashio Myanmar, 2017 (On 3 May 2017, an Airbus A330 and an Airbus A319 lost prescribed separation whilst tracking in opposite directions on a radar-controlled ATS route in eastern Myanmar close to the Chinese border. The Investigation found that the response of the A330 crew to a call for another aircraft went undetected and they descended to the same level as the A319 with the lost separation only being mitigated by intervention from the neighbouring Chinese ACC which was able to give the A319 an avoiding action turn. At the time of the conflict, the A330 had disappeared from the controlling ACCs radar.)
  • A333, Chicago O'Hare IL USA, 2013 (On 5 March 2013, the aft-stationed cabin crew of an Airbus A330-300 being operated by Lufthansa on a scheduled international passenger flight from Chicago O'Hare to Munich advised the flight crew after the night normal visibility take-off that they had heard "an unusual noise" during take-off. Noting that nothing unusual had been heard in the flight deck and that there were no indications of any abnormal system status, the Captain decided, after consulting Company maintenance, that the flight should be completed as planned. The flight proceeded uneventfully but on arrival in Munich, it became clear that the aircraft had sustained "substantial damage" due to a tail strike on take-off and was unfit for flight.)
  • A333, Hong Kong China, 2010 (On 13 April 2010, a Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300 en route from Surabaya to Hong Kong experienced difficulty in controlling engine thrust. As these problems worsened, one engine became unusable and a PAN and then a MAYDAY were declared prior to a successful landing at destination with excessive speed after control of thrust from the remaining engine became impossible. Emergency evacuation followed after reports of a landing gear fire. Salt water contamination of the hydrant fuel system at Surabaya after alterations during airport construction work was found to have led to the appearance of a polymer contaminant in uplifted fuel.)
  • A333, Kathmandu Nepal, 2015 (On 4 March 2015, the crew of a Turkish Airlines A333 continued an automatic non precision RNAV approach below the prescribed minimum descent altitude without having obtained any element of visual reference and when this was acquired a few seconds before the attempted landing, the aircraft was not aligned with the runway centreline and during a 2.7g low-pitch landing, the left main gear touched down on the grass. The aircraft then left the runway completely before stopping with a collapsed nose gear and sufficient damage to be assessed a hull loss. None of 235 occupants sustained serious injury.)
  • A333, London Heathrow UK, 2016 (On 26 June 2016, thick white smoke suddenly appeared in the cabin of a fully loaded Airbus A330-300 prior to engine start with the door used for boarding still connected to the air bridge. An emergency evacuation initiated by cabin crew was accomplished without injury although amidst some confusion due to a brief conflict between flight crew and cabin crew instructions. The Investigation found that the smoke had been caused when an APU seal failed and hot oil entered the bleed air supply and pyrolysed. Safety Recommendations in respect of both crew communication and procedures and APU auto-shutdown were made.)
  • A333, Manila Philippines, 2013 (On 7 October 2013 a fire was discovered in the rear hold of an Airbus A330 shortly after it had arrived at its parking stand after an international passenger flight. The fire was eventually extinguished but only after substantial fire damage had been caused to the hold. The subsequent Investigation found that the actions of the flight crew, ground crew and airport fire service following the discovery of the fire had all been unsatisfactory. It also established that the source of the fire had been inadequately packed dangerous goods in passengers checked baggage on the just-completed flight.)
  • A333, Montréal QC Canada, 2014 (On 7 October 2014, an Airbus A330-300 failed to maintain the runway centreline as it touched down at Montréal in suddenly reduced forward visibility and part of the left main gear departed the runway edge, paralleling it briefly before returning to it and regaining the centreline as the landing roll was completed. The Investigation attributed the excursion to a delay in corrective action when a sudden change in wind velocity occurred at the same time as degraded visual reference. It was found that the runway should not have been in use in such poor visibility without serviceable lighting.)
  • A333, en-route, Kota Kinabalu Malaysia, 2009 (On 22 June 2009, an Airbus A330-300 being operated by Qantas on a scheduled passenger flight from Hong Kong to Perth encountered an area of severe convective turbulence in night IMC in the cruise at FL380 and 10 of the 209 occupants sustained minor injuries and the aircraft suffered minor internal damage. The injuries were confined to passengers and crew who were not seated at the time of the incident. After consultations with ground medical experts, the aircraft commander determined that the best course of action was to complete the flight as planned, and this was uneventful.)
  • A333, en-route, West of Learmonth Australia, 2008 (On 7 October 2008, an Airbus A330-300 aircraft experienced multiple system failure indications followed by uncommanded pitch-down events which resulted in serious injuries to passengers and cabin crew.)
  • A333, en-route, near Bournemouth UK, 2012 (On 16 April 2012, a Virgin Atlantic A330-300 made an air turnback to London Gatwick after repetitive hold smoke detector warnings began to occur during the climb. Continuing uncertainty about whether the warnings, which continued after landing, were false led to the decision to order an emergency evacuation on the runway. Subsequent investigation found that the smoke warnings had all been false and had mainly come from one faulty detector. It also found that aspects of the way the evacuation had taken place had indicated where there were opportunities to try and improve passenger behaviour.)
  • A333, en-route, south of Moscow Russia, 2010 (On 22 December 2010, a Finnair Airbus A330-300 inbound to Helsinki and cruising in very cold air at an altitude of 11,600 metres lost cabin pressurisation in cruise flight and completed an emergency descent before continuing the originally intended flight at a lower level. The subsequent Investigation was carried out together with that into a similar occurrence to another Finnair A330 which had occurred 11 days earlier. It was found that in both incidents, both engine bleed air systems had failed to function normally because of a design fault which had allowed water within their pressure transducers to freeze.)
  • A333, vicinity Orlando FL USA, 2013 (On 19 January 2013, a Rolls Royce Trent 700-powered Virgin Atlantic Airbus A330-300 hit some medium sized birds shortly after take off from Orlando, sustaining airframe impact damage and ingesting one bird into each engine. Damage was subsequently found to both engines although only one indicated sufficient malfunction - a complete loss of oil pressure - for an in-flight shutdown to be required. After declaration of a MAYDAY, the return to land overweight was completed uneventfully. The investigation identified an issue with the response of the oil pressure detection and display system to high engine vibration events and recommended modification.)
  • A333, vicinity Wom Guam Airport, Guam, 2002 (On 16 December 2002, approximately 1735 UTC, an Airbus A330-330, operating as Philippine Airlines flight 110, struck power lines while executing a localizer-only Instrument Landing System (ILS) approach to runway 6L at A.B. Pat Won Guam International Airport, Agana, Guam. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed during the approach. Following a ground proximity warning system (GPWS) alert, the crew executed a missed approach and landed successfully after a second approach to the airport.)

Further Reading

  • Airbus reference document which provide to airlines, MROs, airport planners and operators the general dimensions of the aircraft, as well as the necessary information for ramp, servicing operations or maintenance preparation: Airbus A330: Airplane characteristics for airport planning AC, 01 April 2013.