Corsair has received its first Airbus A330neo today, an A330-900 acquired on lease. The airline has added to its all-Airbus fleet, which consists of five other A330s. The French airline plans to continue with its vision to operate an all-A330 fleet.
Corsair’s new A330neo arrives
French charter airline Corsair has taken delivery of its first Airbus A330neo. The aircraft (registration: F-HRNB) took off from Toulouse at 11:05 UTC and landed at Paris Orly Airport an hour later. The A330neo has 352 seats in a three-class configuration and offers the full range of Airbus’ ‘Airspace’ cabin amenities, including in-flight WiFi and entertainment.
The plane is fitted with two of Rolls-Royce’s Trent 7000-72 engines and can fly with an increased MTOW of 251 tonnes (553,360 lbs). The A330neo will be able to fly to ranges of up to 13,400km (7,200NM) or carry a heavier payload owing to its higher MTOW. EASA approved the new A330-900 variant last year, which bumped the MTOW up from 242 tonnes to 251 tonnes.
According to Airbus,
“As well as the new engine option, the aircraft benefits from a host of innovations, including aerodynamic improvements and new wings and winglets that together contribute to 25% fuel-burn and CO2 reductions.”
A welcome addition to Corsair’s fleet
Before today’s delivery, Corsair had five Airbus A330s in its fleet – one A330-200 and four A330-300s. According to Planespotters.net, the older A330-200 is over 21 years old, while its four A330-300s have an average age of almost 10 years. Corsair’s new A330neo first took off from Toulouse on October 30th for a two-hour maiden flight.
This will be one of five A330-900s that Corsair will add to its fleet, along with its older A330s. Three of the new aircraft will be on firm order, while the other two will be acquired on lease. The aircraft received today was acquired from lessor Avolon. The airline originally planned to take delivery of its first A330neo by August 2020, but this was deferred to Q4 2020 and eventually delayed until today.
Corsair, which was already planning to retire its Boeing 747 fleet, moved the retirement forward a year due to the COVID pandemic. The airline has already said farewell to its last 747, sending it to Kemble, UK, for dismantling in June 2020. At the time of retirement, Corsair’s fleet of 747s had an average age exceeding 28 years.
Where might the new A330-900 fly to?
Last summer, Corsair revealed where its new fleet of A330neos might fly to. Out of the airline’s operating base at Paris Orly Airport, the new jets were earmarked for direct flights to Mauritius, Guadeloupe and Reunion.
Additionally, the airline wants to use the A330neo for flights to New York JFK, tentatively scheduled for September 2021. The airline received €300 million ($364 million) in funding at the turn of the year, which saw TUI Group and Intro Aviation sell their stakes in the carrier’s capital.
What do you think of the A330-900neo? Feel free to share your thoughts and insights in the comments.