French airline Corsair, officially known as Corsair International, has made plans to retire its Boeing 747 fleet by 2021. This signals the end of the jumbo jet for the carrier.
Who is Corsair?
Corsair is a French carrier that is based around the hub airport Paris-Orly (which is the second main airport of Paris after Charles de Gaulle). It is actually owned by two other firms; TUI and Intro Aviation. It flies to current and former French colonies and leisure destinations. Its network includes North American destinations such as Miami and Montreal, with New York starting in June 2020, as well as the Ivory Coast in West Africa.
The carrier is an internationally focused airline and thus its entire fleet is made of up widebody aircraft, such as the A330 (of which they have four) and the Boeing 747 (which they have three).
What are their 747 retirement plans?
Corsair has decided to update its fleet and to begin phasing out its three 747-400s. According to Airways Mag, the first aircraft is planned to be retired by December 2020 and the two others in April 2021.
The airline plans to replace them with an order of five new Airbus A330-900neo aircraft, the first planned for introduction in August 2020. This will mean that the carrier will become an all-Airbus airline by May 2021. They also have another two A330s still to be delivered.
Of these five new aircraft, three are being purchased outright and another two are being leased from a leasing firm. With these extra aircraft, the airline will also retire it’s two older A330-200s.
“Corsair is a company with a great many assets. I have full trust in its potential. The replacement of the Boeing 747 and the shift to a single-model fleet will be crucial for Corsair’s future,” said Peter Oncken, the managing director of INTRO Aviation, the parent company of Corsair, as reported in Airways Mag.
Corsair is continuing to diversify its network with the launch of a direct Paris-New York route. The new A330neo will operate on this new route.
What will the new A330-900neo be like?
We are big fans of the A330-900neo here in Simple Flying. Our support of this fantastic aircraft was further enhanced when we attended the recent unboxing of the new HiFly aircraft.
The default configuration of the A330-900neo is T371 passengers with 18 in business and 353 in economy. This is in comparison to the outgoing 747-400 Corsair that sat 12 seats in business, 18 in premium economy and a huge 497 in economy (this might be a bit unbelievable but Corsair themselves lists a total capacity of 533 seats on their website).
Corsair told Simple Flying that the new A330-900neo will feature a total of 20 business class seats, along with 21 premium economy and 331 in economy. This slightly more premium heavy configuration is likely to pay off for the airline on the lucrative Paris to New York service.
While we don’t have details of the hard products to be used on the A330neo as yet, it’s likely that Corsair will use this opportunity to redesign their business class cabin. We’d expect them to include modern features like lie-flat beds and privacy doors, and will look forward to hearing more about the new aircraft in due course.
What do you think? Is the A330-900neo a good replacement for the Boeing 747? Let us know in the comments.