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I've seen 2 safety videos of A330s - one with Nepal Airlines and another of (now defunct) Jet Airways.

Both of them say that doors 3 left and 3 right cannot be used in a water evacuation.

Why is it so?

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1 Answer 1

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It depends on the type of door that is installed at position 3L and 3R. Airbus offers the A330 with a type 1 door, which is a smaller emergency exit door, and optionally with a full type A door. Only the type A door emergency escape slide can be used as a raft, therefore evacuation on water should not be performed through 3L and 3R when only a type 1 door is installed:

A330 Emergency Evacuation
(Airbus Aircraft Characteristics - A330)

That is why some operators like Emirates (left) instruct passengers not to use doors 3L and 3R on water, but others like Air Transat (right) allow this:

A330 Safety Cards
(image sources: Emirates, Air Transat)

If you compare pictures of the Emirates and Air Transat A330s, you can see the larger type A door on the Air Transat:

A330 Photo Comparison
(image sources: Emirates, Air Transat)

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you! But why do airlines opt for such variants? During water evacuations is it not vital to empty the plane ASAP as water may keep on entering the plane? Is it not safer to have 8 exits with rafts as opposed to 6? $\endgroup$ Feb 29 at 12:23
  • $\begingroup$ @HarikrishnanM What type of emergency exists are installed has an impact on the exit limit, which is the maximum number of passengers allowed on the aircraft. This means airlines with lower density cabins (with larger first and business class seats or more leg room) don't need the larger exits. After a successful water landing (aircraft doesn't break apart), you actually have quite some time for an evacuation. $\endgroup$
    – Bianfable
    Mar 1 at 7:50
  • $\begingroup$ So since Transat had denser seat configurations on board, they are mandated by aviation law to make more exits available for evacuation. On the other hand Emirates had the opposite, thus it's enough to put just six. I get it @Bianfable, thank you! $\endgroup$ Mar 1 at 9:32

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