Air Belgium announces an agreement with Airbus for the delivery of two new A330-900 aircraft (MSN 1844 & 1861) starting this autumn 2021. These new aircraft will gradually replace two Air Belgium A340s. The first A330neo will fly every Tuesday and Friday from Brussels Airport to Mauritius as of 15 October 2021.
These two aircraft were initially ordered by Air Berlin which did not take them after going bankrupt. They were then proposed to RwandAir (and painted in their livery), which also didn’t take them after the coronavirus crisis, as the airline abandoned its plan to fly to New York. Air Belgium will lease them from Air Lease Corporation.
The new aircraft are configured in three classes (Business, Premium and Economy) and carry 286 passengers compared to 265 on the current A340.
“Air Belgium is very happy and proud to present these new aircraft in Belgium. They are the most modern aircraft that will operate under the Belgian flag. We are very pleased by our experience operating the Airbus A340s, demonstrating reliability, comfort and performance. With the A330neos customers will directly benefit from even greater comfort and superior service on board while reducing our environmental impact by 25%,” says Niky Terzakis, CEO of Air Belgium
The first NEO with registration OO-ABF will be introduced on the new route between Brussels Airport and Mauritius on 15 October 2021. The second aircraft will enter service by the end of November and will reinforce the 2021/2022 winter destination programme.
“We are glad that Air Belgium recognises the productivity and flexibility advantages of the A330neo, setting it up as the best-in-class and most cost-effective aircraft for the airline’s long-haul network. Thanks to a maximum range of 8,150 nautical miles and a 25 % fuel reduction and lower CO2 emissions compared to previous generation aircraft, the A330neo is the ideal fit for airlines to overcome the crisis and meet the demand of passengers eager to fly again. For this reason, the A330 Family is the world’s most popular wide-body aircraft, with 1,500 A330s delivered, and has been the most used long-haul aircraft during the pandemic,” says Christian Scherer, Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Airbus International, Airbus.