The world's airlines have ordered more than 1,000 A330s from Airbus [File: EPA]


The Airbus A330-200 is a large-capacity, wide-body, twin-engine, medium-to-long-range commercial passenger airliner often used for transatlantic flights.

It can carry up to 256 passengers in a three-class aircraft and cover a range of 10,500km.

The aircraft can fly at 880kph at a cruising altitude of 10,700 metres.

The A330-200 is 59 metres long and has a wingspan of 60.30 metres.

The aircraft was based on the A330-300 and shares near identical systems, airframe, flightdeck and wings, the only major difference being the fuselage length.

If the missing passengers and crew from AF447, the Air France flight missing over the Atlantic, are confirmed dead, it would be the worst accident involving an Airbus A330, according to the Flight Safety Foundation.

It would also be the first fatal accident involving the A330-200 variant of the jet, which entered into service in 1998.

In 1994, an A330-300 on a test flight simulating an engine failure on takeoff crashed shortly after leaving Toulouse, killing all seven people on board.

The catalogue price of the A330-200 is about $180.9 million.

Airbus says that the aeroplane can fly more than 11 million hours during its lifespan.

There are more than 340 Airbus A330-200s in use across the world and 1,021 of both variants have been ordered since their inauguration.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies