Today Simple Flying was exceptionally lucky to be invited to the Airbus factory in Toulouse and be one of the first to experience Hi Fly’s brand new Airbus A330neo. Read on to see an exclusive sneak peek of the aircraft and a unboxing of all of its features.
You can check out the video here:
What are the details?
Hi Fly is a Portuguese wet-lease airline. This means that whilst they are technically a certified airline, they actually don’t operate any routes. Rather they rent out their aircraft with pilots, crew, entertainment, meals, and fuel to any airline that needs an aircraft ASAP. Whilst there are other wet-lease airlines flying around the world, Hi Fly is the only one with an ‘on-demand’ Airbus A380.
Normally Hi Fly takes older aircraft that have already seen active service (like the ex-Singaporean A380 they now offer to clients like Norwegian) but this A330neo is brand-new and will allow Hi Fly to be the first wet-lease airline on the market to offer such a craft.
“Hi Fly is preparing for a busy future and we are delighted to welcome this new Airbus A330neo into our fleet” – Paulo Mirpuri, Hi Fly President
What is the A330neo like?
Needless to say, this is only news if the aircraft is good and boy does Hi Fly deliver with this new aircraft. Featuring very powerful Rolls Royce Trent 7000 engines that have been created just for this aircraft and other neo improvements like sharklets, the plane has very attractive numbers for fuel consumption and sustainability.
“We especially appreciate the exceptional efficiency of the A330neo, with its potential 14% reduced fuel-burn and outstanding comfort for passengers per seat compared to the previous A330)
Hi Fly currently has 9 more of these A330neo aircraft on order to replace their existing fleet of older (second hand) A330s.
The new a330neo seats 371 passengers with 18 in business and 353 in economy.
What is business class like?
Business-class is in a 2-2-2 configuration with lie-flat seats and other modern features you expect from a premium cabin onboard an aircraft.
The entertainment screen is large and very responsive with the capability to call a crew member if needed.
The tray table extends from the side armrest and to call it stable would be an understatement. It is actually solid metal and bolted into its support (Unfortunately economy doesn’t share this feature but we will get to that in a minute).
Passengers in business class can expect a delightfully soft quilt and a large pillow when the seat is deployed into lie-flat bed mode.
They are also given an amenity kit that looks like a high-class handbag with polished leather and premium products.
What is economy class like?
The economy cabin is in a 3-3-3 configuration. Surprisingly Hi Fly has actually given economy passengers plenty of legroom, more than most carriers.
Whilst the actual facts are not yet available, we can predict around 33 inches of legroom (more than the average of 30 found elsewhere).
The screen is big and takes up most of the seatback and there is neck support for the headrest.
The tray table, however, does leave a little to be desired. Unlike the solid metal concoction in business, the tray table in economy felt more flimsy with its composite structure. We can commend Hi Fly for going plastic-free (Hi Fly plans to be carbon-free by 2021) but it’s a shame that they didn’t go with metal for the rest of the plane.
The A330neo brings other customer improvements that we expect from a modern aircraft, such as; LED mood lighting, big overhead bins, quiet engines, better humidity and more. Plus, it’s livery is simple and gorgeous.
Overall the a330neo is a great aircraft for Hi Fly. It’s flexible for clients and polished for passengers. And the best news is that because it’s available for wet-lease you might be flying it sooner than you think!
What do you think of the new Hi Fly A330neo? Would you fly onboard? Let us know in the comments.