A Thomas Cook Airbus A330 has found a new life as a passenger charter for National Airlines, a Florida cargo carrier.
What are the details?
As reported by CH-Aviation, an Airbus A330-200 with tail number N819CA has now joined National Airlines in Florida, following a 10-year career at Thomas Cook. The aircraft itself is owned by Aircamo Aviation and was being leased to the United Kingdom travel agent before its collapse.
Since then it went into storage near Shannon, Ireland before being transferred across the Atlantic to Florida.
The aircraft is now based out of Miami for National Airlines, who will be operating the aircraft on a charter basis. The carrier normally focuses on cargo and military services but has since discovered a huge demand for passenger charter services as well.
“Fleet improvements are continuously evaluated, and the demand for the passenger business drove us to the decision to acquire the Airbus A330-200, based on its proven history of providing the highest level of safety and performance,” Chairman of parent firm National Air Cargo Holdings Chris Alf said to CH-Aviation.
National Airlines additionally has five Boeing 747-400F cargo aircraft and two Boeing 757-200s for military transport.
“National has been successfully managing its passenger segment of business with its medium-range Boeing 757 aircraft, and with the introduction of the Airbus 330-200 allows National to enter the medium and long-range business needs of its customers.” – National Press Release
But the airline sees this new Airbus as only the beginning for the expansion of fleet operations, with the A330-200 to be joined by another two A330s, the first in June 2020 and another by January 2021.
“National has plans to introduce two additional Airbus A330 family aircraft into its fleet by early 2021.”
What is the A330-200 like?
The A330-200 is still in the Thomas Cook configuration and has two cabins.
The first is a premium economy cabin, with a seat pitch of 35 inches and 20 inches of width. The seats are in a 2-3-2 configuration.
The main economy cabin is in a 2-4-2 configuration, which allowed couples to sit together and families in the middle. They have 31 inches of seat pitch and are 18 inches wide. Not amazingly huge, but still better than some of the other European styled seat pitches that hover around 29-30 inches.
The aircraft itself can carry 49 passengers in premium at the front and another 273 in economy at the back of the aircraft. What is pretty fantastic is that this aircraft seems to have a fairly new interior, with modern seats and seatback entertainment screens.
This is a pretty compelling point of difference for many charter carriers and puts the airline up there with other charter/wet-lease services like Hi Fly.
What do you think of this news? Let us know in the comments.