On September 25th, an Air France Airbus A330-200 flying from Luanda (Angola) to Paris Charles de Gaulle (France) experienced a pressurization leak and a gradual loss of cabin pressure. The aircraft had to initiate an early descent, flying at a lower altitude than usual en route to its destination.
From Luanda to Paris
According to The Aviation Herald, the Air France Airbus A330-200, registered as F-GZCG, performed flight AF-929. This flight was going from Luanda (Angola) to Paris Charles de Gaulle (France).
The aircraft was 140nm south-southeast of Paris, flying at FL380 when the crew initiated an early descent. They advised air traffic control that they were having a pressurization leak resulting in a gradual loss of cabin pressure.
Following procedure, the aircraft descended to FL080, leveling off at this altitude about 70nm southeast of Paris about 10 minutes later. The aircraft then landed safely on Charles de Gaulle’s runway 26R about 35 minutes after descending from FL380.
The occurrence aircraft returned to service a week later, starting with a flight from Paris to Dubai on October 2nd. It returned to Paris today, touching down only a few hours ago.
About the incident-aircraft and the Air France fleet
According to Planespotters.net, the A330-200 is 18 years old and has been flying with Air France since being delivered from Airbus in December 2002. It is one of 15 Airbus A330-200s operated by Air France. The -200 is the shortest variant of the A330 family.
Within the Air France fleet, the A330 is one of four widebody types operated by the carrier. The types are as follows:
- Airbus A330-200
- Airbus A350-900
- Boeing 787-9
- Boeing 777-200 and -300
Widebodies that are longer flying with Air France are the Airbus A340 and the A380. These quad jets had their retirements expedited due to the global health crisis as their capacity was not required.
The carrier has historically operated the Boeing 747. Interestingly, it has flown four types – the -100, -200, -300, and -400.
Air France A330 destinations
Airbus has often used its A330s on services that are long-range yet draw a lower demand when compared to other routes. From its hub in Paris, destinations have often included cities in West Africa such as Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), Accra (Ghana), Conakry (Guinea), and Freetown (Sierra Leone). Last year these jets also flew transatlantic services to select American cities, including Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and Seattle. In April an Air France A330 was used for service to the Republic of Congo and was even shot at.
Most recently, the aging widebody was selected to resume regularly scheduled service between Paris and Tunis (Tunisia).
Have you ever flown on an Air France Airbus A330? In your opinion, how has it compared with other Air France aircraft? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.