What is an Airbus Neo ?

Air Travel

Created on: April 17, 2019

Updated on: April 17, 2019

There has been a lot of buzz recently with the next generation of aircraft that will be hitting the shelves on airlines very soon. And one word that left me puzzled was the word Neo on the next generation of Airbus aircraft. I hadn’t seen it used with any other aircraft so I assumed it must be part of the marketing strategy for the new aircraft.

New Jets

In 2019, I intend to go to the Farnborough Air Show, I have been there before however I was really young and so I enjoyed seeing the fighter jets swoop past. The thing though is that I really enjoy looking at civilian jets and one of the jets that has just popped in to my orbit recently is the Airbus A330 Neo. And I have found out that the Neo bit stands for New Engine option.


So how did this new engine option thingy come about, well these days the number one feature that most airlines require is fuel economy and the reason why this is the case is that ever since the Iraq war / invasion came about, the price of oil has spiralled out of control. Most airlines want to reduce the amount of fuel that is burn’t on an aircraft and the A330 neo promises 14% better fuel economy per seat. The aircraft was launched at the Farnborough Air Show back in 2014 and there will be 2 versions.

The 800 and 900 versions will be configured differently, the range of the 800 is coincidentally at the 8000 nmile range whilst the 900 has 7200 nmile range.

The A330 has been a roaring success and the neo range appears to be a series of incremental improvements bolted on to a successful airliner.

Incremental Improvements

One of the benefits of making small incremental improvements as opposed to huge improvements is that these is less risk and less reputational damage that can be incurred on an existing blueprint compared to one that is completely new.

This means that airliners have more confidence in signing on the dotted line as opposed to waiting for an aircraft manufacturer to fix these problems before they sign.

Do you remember the Dreamliner lithium ion battery problems that meant the FAA had to carry out further testing on this type of aircraft ?

The A330 is geared to the medium haul market and it will compete with the Boeing 787 for new orders. Meaning that A330 may be used on the point to point routes as opposed to the hub and spoke business models that legacy carriers tend to use.

The A330 neo has just been approved for ETOPS for 330 minutes in total. If you don’t know what ETOPS means check out my article on Extended Jet Operations here: https://ormrepo.co.uk/blogs/public-transport-what-are-extended-jet-operations

The market for the A330 neo is split between the Boeing 787 meaning that airlines do have plenty of choice if they decide to replace the ageing Boeing 767 within their fleets.

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