Air Belgium Teases Images Of Its New Airbus A330neo

Air Belgium has teased photos of its new A330neo in the paint shop in Toulouse. The aircraft is currently receiving its full livery ahead of its delivery in the coming months. The aircraft was previously spotted flying with painted engines, while the rest of the jet was unpainted.

Air Belgium, Airbus A330neo, Livery
Air Belgium has teased images of its new Airbus A330neo paint scheme. Photo: Airbus via Air Belgium

While many airlines were closing the door on the Airbus A340 due to its inefficiency in an ETOPS world, Air Belgium launched with the type. It’s all change at the airline now, though, as it seeks to replace its gas-guzzling quad jets with the latest generation of the A330 twinjet family.

OO-ABG in the paint shop

When airlines are due to receive the first of a new aircraft type, they will often release little snippets of the paint scheme to build excitement for the aircraft’s delivery. In the case of British Airways’ first Airbus A350-1000, the painted wingtips were a vital part of this.

Air Belgium, Airbus A330neo, Livery
No detail is spared, no matter how small. Photo: Airbus via Air Belgium

Now, Air Belgium has shown a couple of snippets of its first Airbus A330neo. The aircraft is registered as OO-AGB. According to data from ch-aviation.com, it is just 0.04 years old, having taken its first flight on July 21st.

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Air Belgium only confirmed its Airbus A330neo order last month. How has it already got an aircraft in the paint shop? Air Belgium is actually buying a white tail aircraft. That is to say, a plane that was built for somebody else but never delivered.

Air Belgium, Airbus A330neo, Livery
The finishing touches are being applied to the livery. Photo: Airbus via Air Belgium

Airbus originally built the planes for Air Berlin, which went out of business. The aircraft were then due to go to Rwandair, who didn’t go out of business but did pull out of its neo commitment. Now they are to go from one AB to another, with Air Belgium set to take OO-AGB, along with OO-ABF, another white tail A330neo. As a result, Airbus has no white tail aircraft left in its inventory.

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In operation from October

Air Belgium intends to begin flying the A330neo from October. The first flight planned is on October 15th, when the aircraft will fly to Mauritius from Brussels. The flight will depart Belgium twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Air Belgium, Airbus A330-900, A330neo
Air Belgium is to take delivery of two Airbus A330-900 aircraft. Photo: Airbus via Air Belgium

Air Belgium will see the number of passengers it can take reduced by 7%, as the planes will only carry 265 passengers, compared to 286 on the airline’s quadjet A340-300s. However, there will be benefits elsewhere on the aircraft. According to Air Belgium, the A330neo is 35% more efficient than previous generation aircraft, meaning lower fuel bills and fewer emissions. Both of the A330-900s will come with a three-cabin layout, sporting economy, premium economy, and business, like their A340 sisters.

Are you excited to see the Air Belgium A330neo in its full glory? Let us know what you think and why in the comments down below!

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