That’s Why I Love Flying the Airbus 330

I was a pilot on the Boeing 737 when she joined the KLM fleet. (Aircraftlike shipsare referred to in the feminine). I could barely stand to look at her as I taxied by. My colleagues who piloted her were wildly enthusiastic. I have to say, I am too, now. These are the seven things that I like so much about the Airbus 330.

I have been piloting the Airbus 330 since September 2010. I could have chosen the Boeing 747 or 777, but I deliberately chose the “French Lady”. We use the A330 a great deal to fly to Africa and the Middle East. I had not been there very much, before. But my real reason was the A330 itself.

 1. The Legs and the Nose

The Airbus 330 is unbelievably beautiful to look at, from nose to tail. She stands extremely tall. When She’s on the ground, she leans slightly forward, as if she’s ready to break into a sprint at any moment. When she’s cruising, the nose lifts a bit, all of which gives it just a little bit more elegance.


 2. The Joystick

Instead of the standard aircraft steering wheel, the A330 is equipped with a joystick—or a side stick as Airbus likes to call it. When I started my training, I remember thinking, that operating with a joystick would be difficult. But you get used to it very quickly and it steers extremely easily.


 3. The Cockpit Table

As there is no longer a steering wheel, there is space for a table which can be folded tidily under the instrument panel. There is no other KLM aircraft that allows pilots to work and eat at a table!

 4. The Quiet

What is more, we can work in peace. The cockpit is wonderfully quiet compared to any of the other aircraft I have piloted. If, while we are cruising, another aircraft passes us 1000 feet overhead, we can hear it.

 5. Instrument Design

Did I already mention that Porsche designed many of the instruments in the cockpit? So, it’s no wonder that the shape, colour, and lighting are so beautiful.

 6. Fully Computerized

The A330 is the first fully computerized aircraft in the KLM fleet. When we operate the aircraft manually—with automatic pilot off—the side stick is always linked to the computer. It keeps an eye on the aircraft’s aerodynamic parameters.

The aircraft is equipped with a variety of technical novelties that make flight safer and more efficient. These include the advanced warning systems, weather radar, and a screen that displays oncoming obstacles and high terrain.


 7. The Elegant Wing

The A330 performs beautifully. That’s down to its wing design. It’s also beautiful to look at. If you compare its wings to that of a seagull, you’ll see a lot of similarities. The elegantly upturned winglet, complete with KLM logo, is the icing on the cake.

I have been offered the opportunity to move on to other aircraft types, but I’m very happy to stay on with the A330. She’s the most beautiful aircraft I’ve ever flown.

Thijs Jongsma
Airbus A330 Pilot

Posted by:   Thijs Jongsma  | 
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Well reading this article makes me wonder why the KLM is in the deep doeda! The article describes the marvellous aircraft , It is just short of a miracle, fully automatic does it all! Which makes me wonder why the pilots or shall we say the VNV requires the KLM to pay their pilots well over the top and this includes very generous fringe benefits . Not to talk about their antiquated pilot seniority list because not always is the senior pilot the best qualified pilot! Just look at KLM’s crash record .Come on KLM less concentration on these blogs and more effort to get the company back on its feet again and ensure that sacrifices of the previous KLM generations were not in vain. But I doubt that the gentlemen pilots now will provide the catalyst to cut the cost and so at least give the airline a chance for recovery, “we are all in this together”- not!!!

jacques Machiels

After reading Mr.Prins’ mail I wonder if something is amiss with. my sense of humour, unless he ‘s serious. To me there is nothing wrong with a pilot


Sir, you have missed the point, there is nothing wrong with being a pilot . However at the moment the KLM is sadly to about to go under at this rate after their disastrous take over by Air France. The KLM future depends on the pilots agreeing to increased productivity and reduction of their costs. I wrote this article in reply to the article about the A330 pilot , nice hype about the aircraft and it’s technology and the “can do ” computers But as an other contributor wrote about the basics of flying the aircraft manually


you are the best!!! :)


I’ve been twice on a Airbus A-300. Both times with KLM (Amsterdam-Atlanta-Amsterdam). Enjoyed the ride! Can just imagine what it is like “behind the doors”. I’ll be back as soon as I can. Loved the plane. Loved the service on board!

Rikhit Arora

But it’s a tiresome plane to fly on. I’d take a 777 or 787 over a 330 any day. Plus the wonderful computerization works well when it’s working. And when things go wrong, well, you end up at the bottom of the ocean. Some airbus pilots don’t seem to know the basics of getting out of a stall! . Come on.


That the fuselage is not level on the ground is a design mistake by Airbus. Nothing to do with elegance.


Pfff quite some negative comments from people who don’t welcome you aboard from the flightdeck. Besides all this the marketing department and there social media department are doing a great job of taking advantace of the social media channels on the best way pissible to inform there followers about the world behind KLM they and there pilots deserve credits and not some negative comments. After making these compliments KLM i want an upgrade on my next flight ;D


Pff sorry to quick typing and posting from my smartphone ;)

Bonnie Parren

Hahaha Mark, you so funny. But thanks for these very nice words.


You said it all… A decade ago I was a frequent flyer with KLM, the only airline that I and my family rely to travel to extreme orient, USA and even for a round the world trip, nowadays, with this innovative communication with clients, I’m sure I will start flying with KLM again, AMS is very convenient as a hub, KLM provides very good connections and now, “the icing on the cake”, it´s getting familiar with this strategy, it’s no more just another impersonal yet reliable airline.

Lolita M. Balboa

Very nice story about A330. I love KLM very much.

jacques Machiels

being enthousiastic over the aircraft type he is flying. Remarks about pilots salaries and the financial position are not to the point. Please blog more over enthousiastic KLM staff!
(apologies for the hitch in sending)

Sergio Potes

Nice article and congratulations on a nice plane. I am concern about the aviation idustry using this new two engine planes over Atlantic routes. One engine dies and you are hanging by your nuts. Yes you claim to fly SETOP routes but that gives you at 30,000 feet maybe 125 miles. I rather fly a four engine plane over water. A few weeks ago a Singapore Airbus 330 had both engines die…the pilot was able to start the engines, same thing happend to a American Airlines Boeng 667 luckly over the Azores….can we return to three or four engine planes

Jagath Rupasiri

AirBus A330-300 is currently in service with Srilankan Airlines.I also love this aircraft.


Nice blog and its nice to see the Il-62 veterans among the a 330 pilots.


@Rhikit Arora what you mentioned was due to pilot error similiar to the 777 which went down at the runway Asiana 217 in Sanfrancisco, July 6, 2013. The A330 is a fab aircraft. Thanks to the wonderful article Captain Thigs.

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