The Airbus A330 was presented on the Paris Aerosalon 1987 together with the A340. The two-engined Airbus for medium- and long haul ranges is thought as a competitor of Boeings successful 767 and 777 and also as a replacement for old DC-10 and TriStars. The first flight of the A330 was on November 2nd 1992, Launching Customer was Air Inter in January 1994.
The A330 is -like its four-engined sister model a further development of the A300. The A330 got a completely new glass flight deck which is similar to the one of the A320. The A330 got a Fly by Wire piloting, too. To increase range, the A330 got very long wings with winglets.There are three different engines available: by General Electric, by Rolls-Royce as well as by Pratt&Whitney- what led to heavy competition between the engine constructors. The A330 got its ETOPS-Certificate in May 1994 and its first trans-atlantic flights were operated by Aer Lingus.
In addition to the standard version A330-300 with max. 440 seats Airbus developed the A330-200 with space for max. 380 passengers to have a better competitor for Boeings 767. Version -200, which was first flown in 1996, was shortened about 5 metres and got a larger rudder. An additional tank allows higher range.