KLM Royal Dutch Airlines took delivery of its first long haul Airbus A330-200 in the course of a ceremony held in Toulouse, France, during which the aircraft was formally handed over to KLM President & CEO, Leo Van Wijk, by Airbus President and Chief Executive Officer Gustav Humbert.

This A330-200 is the first of eight Airbus long-range aircraft to be delivered to KLM, of which six are purchased directly from Airbus. All aircraft are to be delivered to KLM within the next two years as part of the airline’s modernisation plan for its international fleet. The A330-200 will be deployed on non-stop mid-sized routes to North America, Africa and the Middle East. The aircraft is configured to seat 251 passengers in a very comfortable two-class configuration and is powered by General Electric CF6-80E1 engines.

“With the A330 we are buying an aircraft which is excellent in terms of fuel consumption per passenger, fuel emission and noise reduction”, Mr Van Wijk said at the ceremony. The introduction of the A330s into our fleet enables us to combine operational cost savings with environmental progress. And above all, our customers will highly appreciate the comfortable and significantly quieter way to travel”.

Mr. Humbert, added: “We are delighted to be able to welcome to our long range aircraft family, the airline known to be the oldest international carrier in the world. As KLM will continue to expand its fleet over the next years, we are looking forward to a long and fruitful partnership.”

The A330 aircraft is leading in its market category. It incorporates a host of technological advances making it a leader also in terms of fuel and economic efficiency, whilst assuring a maximum of environmental friendliness and passenger comfort.

Headquartered in Toulouse, France, Airbus is an EADS joint Company with BAE Systems.