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Fact file: the Airbus A330-200

The Air France passenger plane that has gone missing with 228 people on board on its way from Brazil to Paris is a four-year-old Airbus A330-200 wide-body jet.

The aircraft registered as F-GZCP. Air France is owned by Franco-Dutch airline group Air France-KLM.

Here are the main characteristics of the plane.

Aircraft details

Twin-engine, long-haul, medium-capacity passenger jet, a shortened version of the standard A330

First A330-200 put into service: 1998

Number in use worldwide: 341

Length: 58.8 meters (190 feet) long

Capacity: 253 passengers in standard configuration; 293 in a two-class configuration.

Maximum distance: Up to 7,760 miles (12,500 kilometers), allowing it to travel routes such as Paris-Singapore, Paris-Los Angeles or Dubai-London.

Airlines using it: include Air France, KLM, Northwest Airlines, Jet Airways, Turkish Airlines, Air China, China Sputhern Airlines.

Missing plane entered service 2005

Aircraft type first entered service 1998

Engines Two CF6

Manufacturer General Electric (GE.N)

Aircraft cost (list prices, 2008) $181 million

Safety record

If the missing passengers and crew are confirmed dead, it would be the worst accident involving an Airbus A330, according to the Flight Safety Foundation (http://www.aviation-safety.net).

It would also be the first fatal accident involving the A330-200, the smaller of two variants of the wide-body jet.

Seven people were killed when an A330-300 crashed during a testing flight at the planemaker's Toulouse headquarters in France in June, 1994.

Two A330-300s were destroyed on the tarmac in an attack on Sri Lanka's international airport by Tamil Tiger rebels that left 18 people dead in July 2001.