The A330 was developed in parallel with the four-engine A340, sharing common Airframe and technology but with only number of engine variations. The A330 was Airbus’s first airliner to offer three types of engine options; General Electric CF6, Pratt & Whitney PW4000, and Rolls-Royce Trent 700.
Airbus launched the twin-engine, medium to long-range wide-body airliner as A330-300 in 1994 with Air Inter, but its range of 4,000nm couldn’t compete with the Boeing 767-300ER, which flew over 5000nm. To compete with Boeing’s 767, Airbus introduced the shorter, longer-range A330-200 in 1998, which had a range of 6,400nm. The A330-200 gathered momentum, had good sales, and has been popular airplane until recent years.
As A330 (referred to as the A330ceo (current engine option) fall on deliveries, Airbus decided to cross over to A330-800 from 2019. Unfortunately the 257 seats A330-800 failed to succeed with zero orders to this date.
In the meantime, Airbus also introduced 287 seats A330-900 to compete with Boeing 787-9, which gave more options for Airlines to compare.
The airlines preferred A330-900 that carries 50 more passengers than -800 and has a better residual value. Airbus received orders for 206 A330-900 jets to this date with AirAsia placing the highest number of 66 jets.
Airbus has fallen to its own trap and hopes to get out when A330-200s ages and look for replacement. However, its a long wait and that might eat up its A330-800 cashflow.
The orders and delivery
1. A330-200 : orders 654, Delivery 615 and Backlog 39
2. A330-300 : orders 786, Delivery 715 and Backlog 71
3. A330-800 : orders 0,
4. A330-900 : orders 206, Delivery 0 and Backlog 206