A new seat in Tempo, and first European airline to offer digital video on board.
In October 1999, as part of its fleet rationalization and modernization policy, Air France placed orders with Airbus for eight A330-200s.
The first A330-200 will be delivered by Airbus today, 17 December, at Toulouse Blagnac in the presence of Jean-Cyril Spinetta, Chairman and CEO of Air France. All the aircraft will be delivered between December 2001 and April 2004. Jean-Cyril Spinetta said: “for an airline such as Air France, the arrival of a new aircraft, a symbol of modernity and renewal, is an event much appreciated by both our staff and our customers. Today`s delivery of the first in a series of eight A330-200s illustrates the close ties between Air France and Airbus”.
Air France has chosen a three-cabin seat configuration for this aircraft, with a total capacity of 211 passengers: 6 seats in Espace Première, 42 seats in Espace Affaires and 163 seats in Tempo. The first A330 will be operated daily to Boston as from 31 December. The second is scheduled for daily service on the Paris-Toronto route as from 6 January 2002.
The Airbus A330-200 is destined to progressively replace Air France`s Airbus A310-200s and 300s, as well as the Boeing 767-300s. With an operating range of almost 11,000 km, this will be Air France`s smallest long-haul aircraft.
This aircraft introduces striking innovations in inflight entertainment and services offered to customers. Passengers can choose their film from an interactive screen in First and Business Class, with controls similar to those of a video recorder, and in Tempo films start every fifteen minutes. The A330-200 will also be equipped with a video camera under the aircraft`s nose, which will enable passengers to follow take-off and admire the landscapes overflown.
The major new innovation is the arrival of new seats in Tempo, which cover a host of functions as well as a special design and ergonomics for the benefit of Air France passengers. For Espace Première and Espace Affaires passengers, there is a bar to make their flight even more enjoyable, and they can now plug their laptops directly into their built-in seat sockets, making it easier for them to work on their computers.
By acquiring these aircraft, Air France is not only extending its fleet rationalization by reducing from 5 to 3 the type of aircraft families it operates, but is also modernizing it for the benefit of its customers.