Throwback: TAP’s Short-Lived Airbus A330-300 Fleet

The Airbus A330 series is a key part of TAP Air Portugal’s long-haul operations. Although the Portuguese flag carrier is increasingly deploying narrowbodies on transatlantic sectors, it is also strongly committed to the next-generation A330neo. In terms of older A330s, it still flies the -200, and used to operate the -300. But what happened to the latter of these?

TAP Portugal Airbus A330-300
TAP flew four A330-300s between 2017 and 2019. Photo: Nicky Boogaard via Wikimedia Commons

Former Singapore Airlines planes

According to data from ch-aviation.com, TAP Air Portugal has flown four Airbus A330-300s in recent years. This version of the European manufacturer’s twin-engine widebody was the family’s initial variant, and it is 63.67 meters long. Airbus later introduced the shorter A330-200 version in 1998, which measures 58.82 meters in length.

All four of the Lisbon-based Star Alliance member’s A330-300s joined the airline in 2017 from Singapore Airlines. The first to arrive was CS-TOU, which joined the Portuguese flag carrier on April 10th that year. Just over a month later, May 22nd saw CS-TOV come onboard.

The third ex-Singapore Airlines A330-300 to join TAP was CS-TOW, which did so on July 27th, 2017. It was followed by the fourth and final example, CS-TOX, on August 23rd. The aircraft were all around eight years old at the time, having entered service in 2009.

TAP Airbus A330-300
TAP painted one of its A330-300s, CS-TOV, in a special retro livery. Photo: Florian Klebl via Flickr

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Two years at TAP

Despite being fairly young aircraft, TAPs A330-300s didn’t have a long-term future. This is because, by the late-2010s, it had begun modernizing its widebody fleet through the implementation of the new A330neo. As such, they left the fleet two years later, in 2019. Simple Flying reported in April that year that TAP had scheduled its last A330-300 flights.

These ended up taking place three months later. The final service touched down at TAP’s Lisbon hub from Salvador, Brazil on July 13th. By this point, three of the four A330-300s had already left TAP. CS-TOU departed in April 2019, followed by CS-TOV in May, and CS-TOW in June. CS-TOX completed the cycle when it left for pastures new that October.

Air Canada Airbus A330-300
TAP’s four former A330-300s have all ended up at Air Canada. Photo: Markus Eigenheer via Flickr

Where are they now?

All four of the A330-300s that flew for TAP have ended up having rather uniform career patterns. Having come to TAP from one Star Alliance member in the form of Singapore Airlines, they have gone on to fly for another one, namely Air Canada. Upon joining the Canadian flag carrier, they were re-registered as C-GEFA, C-GEGC, C-GEGI, and C-GEGP.

The first and fourth of these seat 297 passengers across three classes (241 economy, 24 premium economy, and 32 business class). Meanwhile, the second and third examples have a two-class 285-seat layout (255 economy and 30 business class). According to data from RadarBox.com, their last flights at the time of writing were as follows.

  • C-GEFA – AC813 Lisbon-Montréal, October 2nd.
  • C-GEGC – AC7269 Toronto-Havana-Bogotá, October 1st-2nd.
  • C-GEGI – AC7253 Montréal-Quito-Lima, October 1st-2nd.
  • C-GEGP – AC121 Toronto-Vancouver, October 1st.

Do you remember TAP’s brief relationship with the Airbus A330-300? Did you ever fly on one of these widebodies at the airline? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

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