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Lost plane Airbus A330: a modern, transatlantic workhorse

Lost plane Airbus A330: a modern, transatlantic workhorse
Paris: 

Airbus A330 airliners, one of which was missing over the Atlantic on Monday with 228 people on board, have never before had a fatal crash during a commercial flight.

Apart from an accident during a test flight which claimed seven lives, the popular airliner has suffered no major accidents, the company said, adding that it would cooperate fully with the investigation.

"The A330 has a very good safety record. We had one accident registered that on a testing mission in 1994 in Toulouse, but there have never been any fatalities on a commercial flight," a spokeswoman for Airbus said.

The twin-engined, long haul A330-200 jet that has disappeared was delivered to Air France in 2005 and has racked up around 18,800 flying hours on some 2,500 flights since.

More than 600 of the planes have been supplied to airlines worldwide and have amassed more than 11 million flying hours in total, according to Airbus.

A reliable transatlantic workhorse for more than a decade, the aircraft measures 59 metres with a 60.3 metre wingspan.

It can carry 253 passengers and can fly at 880 kilometres per hour at a cruising altitude of 10,700 metres.

With its range of 12,500 kilometres, it is often used for direct intercontinental flights, such as the Air France flight between Brazil and France.

The plane is used for both freight and passenger transport. Since then 600 models of the A330 have been produced and are used around the world, including the slightly longer A330-300.

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