XL Airways France, or the former Star Airlines, is a French carrier with head offices in Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport. The airline provides scheduled flight services to long-haul destinations in Africa, the Middle East, the United States and the Caribbean, along with charter services to medium-haul destinations in the Mediterranean. The carrier has a small fleet of five Airbus A330 aircraft, comprising of four A330-200s and one A330-300. However, XL Airways France has recently announced that it will be adding a HiFly A330 airplane to its fleet on lease for the summer season of 2018.
XL and HiFly
HiFly is a Portuguese charter airline based in Lisbon. The company was founded in 2005 and completed all necessary certifications in 2006 when it received its Air Operator Certificate. The maiden aircraft acquired by the carrier was an Airbus A330-300, a previously owned plane by Air Luxor. Since then, the company has expanded both in terms of fleet and destinations provided, as the airline now flies to destinations in Europe, the U.S., Canada, Australia, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, India, Pakistan, and others.
HiFly and XL aircraft overlap to some extent as both carriers operate the A330s. HiFly’s full operating fleet consists of A321-200s, A330-200s, A330-900neos, A340-300s, A340-500s, and A380-800s. The carrier has created an all Airbus fleet and has strengthened its partnership with Airbus as its complete fleet is in the hands of the aircraft manufacturer.
XL Airways France’s Leased A330
XL Airways France has seen increased passenger demand during the summer season of 2018, requiring more aircraft in order to satisfy the needs of passengers and successfully operate its scheduled flights. The leased A330 aircraft from HiFly (the A330-200/-300) will be used by the carrier on its Paris CDG – Fort-de-France and Paris CDG – Miami services. The current flight schedule for the A330 will be:
Paris CDG – Fort-de-France 22JUN18 – 08SEP18 3 weekly (Day 146)
Paris CDG – Miami 24JUN18 – 09SEP18 3 weekly (Day 357)
This is not the first occasion, in which HiFly and XL Airways France partner for the lease of aircraft. The A330 has been previously used by XL Airways France in support of its flight New York JFK from the 26th of June, 2018 until the 10th of July, 2018 on a once a week schedule.
Airbus’ A330 is a medium- to long-range, wide-body, twin-engine airliner, with a range of 5,000 to 13,430 kilometres and a seating capacity of 335 passengers in a two-class seating configuration. The aircraft provides increased passenger capacity in comparison to other aircraft produced by the manufacturer and offers airlines the benefit of exceptional passenger comfort while in-flight. Adding another airplane of the type to XL Airways France will help the carrier strengthen its presence in the market and serve the rising demand seen by passengers.