With the A330's continuing success forcing Airbus to update it even in the face of the A350 it is no surprise that in China the nation's big four airline groupings have all availed themselves of the type. China Eastern has done so whilst at the same time painting them in some very attractive schemes.
The Airbus A330 has surely surpassed its manufacturer's hopes for the type becoming the most successful medium-long haul jet of the 21st Century. There are few large airlines that do not feature the type, which in its series 200 and 300 variants has been used to replace 767s, 777-200ERs, A300s and A340s as well as earlier trijets.
China Eastern’s first A330s were a pair of series 343Xs (B-6119-20) delivered two days apart in January 2006. These were followed by a trio of series 243s sequentially registered from 6121-6123. B-6122 had first flown as F-WWKT on January 2, 2006 and joined the fleet the next month.
B-6124 was overlooked with B-6125 and 6126 being the next pair to arrive, both series 343Xs. These were followed by B-6127-29 before 2006 was out. A330 deliveries have continued but with aircraft in different registration sequences. Between June 2012 and June 2013 China eastern almost doubled its fleet of A330-200s from eight to fifteen units which directly replaced the airline’s A340-300s. The year before the 767s had gone and deliveries in 2013 and 2014 enabled the replacement of the A300s.
Many of China Eastern’s A330-300s have worn special schemes. In 2012 both B-6125 and 6126 were painted into schemes representing news organisations within China. B-6125 wears the colours of Xinhuanet.com - the official press agency of the People's Republic of China and the biggest and most influential media organisation in China.
B-6126 wears the colours of people.cn a Chinese News Agency which publishes the People's Daily - the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party.
Though series 300s initially made up the lion’s share of the fleet the shorter series 200s now outnumber them thanks to 23 new deliveries of which only 2 were series 300s. As of July 2015 41 A330s serve with MU, consisting of 26 series 200s and 15 series 300s. A further eight aircraft have been moved to MU group affiliated companies Shanghai Airlines and China Eastern Yunnan.
I'm Richard Stretton: a fan of classic airliners and airlines who enjoys exploring their history through my collection of die-cast airliners. If you enjoy the site please donate whatever you can to help keep it running: