Airbus announced it has begun A330-800 production in preparation for final assembly in late 2017 and first flight in early 2018. It is also preparing for the first flight of the A330-900.

The two aircraft are members of the A330neo family and incorporate the latest generation Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines.

According to Airbus, the first parts for the A330-800 are advancing at manufacturer sites throughout Europe, including the new increased-span wing now being equipped in Bremen (Germany) and its new composite Sharklets from Korean Air Aerospace Division; the fuselage sections in Hamburg (Germany); the new titanium pylons in Toulouse (France); and the center wing box in Nantes (France). 

Airbus said the A330-800 brings “new generation economics and comfort, in addition to unprecedented range, to the 250-seater aircraft market.” Together with the larger 300-seat A330-900 they share 99% commonality, with the same airframe, engines and crew operations. “All A330s are built on the same production line so orders can be fulfilled in full flexibility according to market demands,” Airbus said in a statement.

Linda Blachly