Airbus A330 had a near-perfect safety record

The Airbus A330 has enjoyed a near-perfect safety record since it began commercial operation in 1993.
The wide-bodied, twin-engine passenger plane was designed to compete on long-haul routes with similar Boeing planes.
There have been no passenger deaths on A330s since it entered operation, although seven crew were killed during a test flight in June 1994 when the plane was simulating an engine failure on takeoff at the Airbus factory in Toulouse.
There are two types of A330 – the 200 (which entered service in 1998) and the earlier 300. The Air France plane feared to have crashed is the 200, with up to 253 seats and a 12,500km range.
The missing plane is reportedly F-GZCP, which was built and delivered to Air France in 2005.
In August 2001, an A330 operated by Air Transat suffered double engine failure while flying from Toronto, Canada, to Lisbon in Portugal. The captain reported the left engine failed, followed 10 minutes later by the right one. The plane was able to glide for between 17 and 18 minutes — the longest ever for a passenger jet — and made an emergency landing in the Azores. Human error and lack of automated computer checks stopped the crew from realising that fuel was leaking via a broken pipe.
Airbus markets the 330 as “optimised for highest revenue generation and the lowest operating costs from regional segments to extended range routes”.
The A330-200 is similar to the four-engined A340-200 and a shortened version of the A330-300. With poor sales of the A340-200 (of which only 28 were built), Airbus decided to use the fuselage of the A340-200 with the wings and engines of the A330-300. This improved the economics of the plane and made the model more popular than the four-engined variant.
The A330-200 has sold strongly since its launch, outselling the Boeing 767 by 23 to 9 in 2004. As a result, Boeing has asked both Rolls Royce and GE to design engines that would enable the 787 Dreamliner to be 15% more economical than the A330-200.

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