Hi Fly’s New Airbus A330neo Secures Its First Customer


Hi Fly’s new A330neo has secured its first customer, Royal Brunei Airlines! The Airbus A330-900neo, less than two months old features the latest and greatest Airbus aviation technology, passenger comforts and has quickly become a crowning jewel for the wet-lease airline’s fleet.

The first Hi Fly A330neo. Photo: Hi Fly

What is the Hi Fly A330neo like?

Hi Fly, the Portuguese wet-lease company has a variety of aircraft on their books, from the A330neo to A320s to one somewhat famous A380.

A wet-lease airline is different to an airline that just leases out a generic aircraft. Hi Fly not only provides the aircraft, but also the pilots, cabin crew, inflight service, fuel, and even airline operator certificate. This makes them perfect for their primary customers; other airlines, who can’t normally find a crew and ‘ready to fly’ aircraft on such short notice (after all, their rivals are unlikely to offer support).


The A330neo (A330-900neo) is a brand new aircraft design that is the spiritual successor of the A330-300 fleet, and the new flagship aircraft of the A330 line.

You can see the new Rolls Royce Trent 7000 engines in action. Photo: Hi Fly

It brings to the table the same design as the previous generation of A330s, but also includes NEO (new engine option) technologies and concepts, similar to those found on the A320neo series. These include cabin improvements, winglets, better and more efficient engines, and more advanced pressurization.

Economy cabin onboard. Photo: Hi Fly

“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)” – Paulo Mirpuri, Hi Fly President in the Hi Fly press release

Business-class seat in lie-flat bed mode. Photo: Hi Fly

But the Hi Fly A330 takes this design a step further with a cabin layout perfectly designed for wet leasing. The aircraft accommodates 371 passengers, with 18 in business and 353 in economy. Business is in a flexible 2-2-2 configuration with lie-flat seats throughout, and economy is in a roomy 3-3-3 layout with each seat having a generous 34 inches of legroom. This cabin has been designed with the most flexibility for clients, with some offering two cabin classes on long-haul routes.

Business-class cabin. Photo: Hi Fly

Hi Fly actually has another nine of these A330neo aircraft on order to slowly replace it’s older generation A330 fleet.

You can check out a video of our unboxing here


Who is the new customer?

In a previous article, we put rumors together who would be the first customer of the new Hi Fly A330neo. We knew that:

“The first carrier that you will learn very soon, it is a flag carrier, operates high spec aircraft and accepted this aircraft configuration very well. The aircraft is being sent to the Far East”.

Possible airlines could have been:

  • Japan Airlines (JAL)
  • Air China
  • Korean Air
  • Cathay Pacific

However, the new customer, according to CH Aviation, has turned out to be Royal Brunei Airlines, a small but rich nation in the South East Asia archipelago. The airline has hired the Hi Fly aircraft to replace it’s older A330-200 Wamos leased airframe.

Royal Brunei Airlines Airbus A320. Photo: Royal Brunei Airlines

The A330neo has been on the airline’s books since October 1st, and has been put on the flag carriers Brunei to Dubai route. The aircraft will fly four times a week between the two cities until the end of November.

The route of the A330neo. Photo: GCmaps

The aircraft did do some short operations before this big customer for AlbaStar and Transavia (to Holguin and Curacao) but these were technically under the Hi Fly brand and not an actual lease (just a charter).

What do you think of this new customer? Is it who you guessed? Let us know!