The Airbus A330-900neo has been certified to ETOPS 285, giving it a full range of 4 hours 45 minutes from the nearest airport on a single engine in an emergency.
That effectively puts the aircraft into a category where it can fly 2,000 nautical miles from an airport, giving it deep range into areas like the Pacific and Indian Oceans, making it viable for South Africa-South America and South Africa/Australia & Australia/South America routes.
The testing took 1,400 hours and was granted by the FAA with EASA due to approve their certification within days.
The ETOPS 285 is an option available for all customers, the aircraft will come as standard with ETOPS 180.
The existing aircraft with ETOPS 180 can be updated to 285 which will enable those on longer routes to fly straighter journeys, cutting time and fuel costs.
ETOPS is a set of rules initially introduced by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in the mid-1980s to allow commercial operations with twin-engine aircraft on routes beyond 60 minutes flying time from the nearest airport, and which were previously operated only by aircraft with more than two engines. These rules, which are now named “EDTO” (Extended Diversion Time Operations) by ICAO, have been progressively revised to allow operations beyond 180 minute diversion time.