A week ago, residents of North-East Spain may have noticed the fuselage of an Airbus A330 traveling past their window. The scrapped aircraft was being transported from Teruel to the desert area of Fraga, where the Monegros Desert Festival will be held next year.
We’ve seen some exciting uses for retired planes. From holiday accommodation to reefs and coffee shops, you’d think somebody had already tried everything possible. Now, a Spanish music festival is turning a former Airbus A330 into a stage for up to 1,000 people as it welcomes guests back from a pandemic break.
A stage for 1,000 people
A week ago, a scrapped Airbus A330 left Teruel, widely known for its aircraft storage facility, to take the first step in its post aviation life. The plane was taken to a field in the Monegros Desert, not far from the town of Candasnos.
According to Business Insider, the journey took 230km (143 miles), mostly traveling along the A-23 highway. Once the aircraft arrived at the festival ground, cranes hoisted it off the truck and into its resting place, where it joined previously delivered wing sections. Commenting on its plans via Instagram, the festival said,
“We can finally announce that MDF & 8.6 Beer bought an AIRBUS Plane for Monegros Festival 2022 and we will transform it into a secret club for 1.000 people! [This is] by far the craziest project we have done…many months to make another dream come true, endless meetings with the council and government, last minute decisions.”
Which aircraft is being used?
It’s impossible to confirm which aircraft is being turned into a festival stage, but we have a couple of clues to help us narrow it down, hopefully. According to data from ch-aviation.com, there are 30 Airbus A330 aircraft at Teruel, ranging in age from a four-year-old A330neo test aircraft to a 27-year-old former Cathay Dragon jet.
According to the data, only two of these 30 aircraft have actually been scrapped, with the remainder in storage. The two scrapped aircraft both came from Air Italy, flying with Qatar Airways before this.
The first of these aircraft is MSN 511, an 18.22-year-old A330 that took its first flight in January 2003. The plane was registered as A7-ACC with Qatar Airways and then EI-GGO with Air Italy. As of February 28th, it had completed 78,328 flight hours over 14,829 flight cycles.
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The second of these aircraft is MSN 571, a 17.09-year-old A330 that took its first flight in March 2004. This plane was registered as A7-ACE when delivered to Qatar Airways and subsequently reregistered as EI-GFX with Air Italy. As of February 28th, this jet had flown for 73,976 hours across 13,624 cycles.
The second clue that it may be a former Air Italy plane is the paint scheme on the aircraft. While the area where the Air Itlay logo would’ve been is painted grey, the base of the aircraft is also painted grey in a pattern that matches the former Air Italy livery. It would make sense to cover the operator’s logo, but painting the base grey for an aircraft with this use seems unpractical.
What do you make of the Airbus A330’s new life as a music stage? Let us know what you think and why in the comments down below!