Brazil’s Azul Airlines is on path to further renovate its fleet. The airline’s goal is to become even more fuel efficient. This will help reduce its environmental footprint and increase its profitability. To continue in its fleet renovation Azul has placed a new order with Airbus. Let’s take a closer look at the news and what its all about.
Azul Airlines Orders 3 New Airbus A330neo
Azul Airlines just recently has announced to have placed a firm order for 3 more A330neo with Airbus. Specifically the Brazilian airline placed an order for 3 A330-900.
This is the most popular A330neo variant. The A330-900 is a highly fuel efficient long range aircraft with a maximum range of over 13.000km and a capacity of 400 passengers. It is likely though that Azul will use it with a capacity around 300 passengers in a 2 or 3 class configuration.
Replacing the Older A330-200s
At the moment Azul Airlines still operates 6 A330-200, the older generation of long range A330s. The aircraft type was launched 28 years ago with its first flight in 1994. However this being Airbus’ most successful long haul airliner production has continued with the last models being currently delivered.
Taking a closer look at the 6 A330-200s still in operation with Azul Airlines though, these are not some of the most recent ones produced. Specifically:
- PR-AIY – Entered service as A6-EAB in November 2000 with Emirates. Then also operating for:
- Virgin Blue Airlines
- Virgin Australia
- TAP Portugal
- PR-AIW – Entered service as A6-EAL in March 2002 also with Emirates. Then also operating for:
- Sichuan Airlines
- PR-AIU – Entered service as A6-EAN in September 2002 with Emirates.
- PR-AIZ – Entered service as F-OMEA in April 2003 with MEA. Then also operating for:
- Gulf Air
- PR-AIT – Entered service as F-OMEB in May 2003 with MEA. Then also operating for:
- Gulf Air
- Turkish Airlines
- PR-AIV – Entered service as F-OMEC in June 2003 With MEA. Then also operating for:
- Gulf Air
As you can see all these airliners have quite quite a history and their average age is very close to 20 years. These older A330-200s will be completely replaced by their newer counterparts: the Airbus A330neo in the 900 variant.
Capacity Over Range
However it is quite interesting how Azul, as many airlines, have opted to replace their A330-200s with the 900 variant and not the 800. The A330-900 offers a higher capacity with a shorter maximum range.
The linear replacement of the A330-200 would be the 800 variant which has a similar range and capacity to its previous version. Azul instead chose capacity over range, which makes sense looking at their operations.
The airline operates many medium range flights on various high demand routes where more capacity is more useful than more range. Also the few truly long range routes to Europe can be also comfortably handled by the A330-900, without the need for the 800’s extra range.
Azul As Many Other Airlines on The A330neo
It is clear this is the path taken by many other airlines just by looking at the orders placed for the 2 A330neo variants:
- The A330-800 has 11 firm orders placed
- While the A330-900 has over 260 firm orders placed so far
Airlines around the world are choosing for other aircraft types as the Airbus A350s for their long range operations rather than the new A330neo.