TAP Portugal is to be the first carrier to operate the re-engined Airbus A330neo, taking delivery of the type towards the end of 2017.
The identity of the launch operator has been disclosed by the airframer during a briefing at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg. TAP has 14 of the A330-900neo twinjets on order. The aircraft will be fitted with Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines. The airline converted to the A330neo – having previously selected the A350-800 before switching to the A350-900 – under a strategic shift to its fleet-modernisation plan, following privatisation last year.
TAP will become the first carrier to take delivery of the new ‘Airspace by Airbus’ cabin layout for the A330neo – a revamped interior unveiled by the airframer in March. The airline has previously stated that the A330neos will have 304 seats – including 32 business-class, 96 premium-economy and 176 economy seats. TAP chief commercial officer Trey Urbahn describes the new cabin design as “innovative”, adding that it provides an “exciting and flexible canvas”.
‘Airspace by Airbus’ will feature new LED-based lighting, larger overhead luggage bins, updated lavatory modules and the latest connectivity and in-flight entertainment systems.