For 25 years, the Airbus A330-200 has been a popular widebody among South American airlines. The aircraft offers good range and passenger capacity and is an alternative to the famous Boeing 767.
The debut of the A330-200 on the continent took place with TAM, which debuted its long-haul routes at the end of the 90s with the aircraft. Later, the jet was also chosen by other carriers such as Aerolineas Argentinas, Azul and Avianca.
Avianca, however, ended the journey of the A330-200 in February. After recovering from a financial crisis, the Colombian carrier announced that it would only keep the modern Boeing 787 Dreamliner in its fleet of intercontinental flights.
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Therefore, the last two operational A330-200s were decommissioned last month. The N279AV jet ended its career with the airline on February 10, while the N974AV said goodbye to active duty on the 16th.
Avianca still has six A330-200Fs in its cargo subsidiary, which means that the aircraft’s history, started in 2008, will continue for a few years.
Boliviana returns to the A330
While Avianca said goodbye to the widebody, another South American airline is about to resume flights with the A330-200, Boliviana de Aviación (BoA).
The state-owned carrier entered into a lease agreement in 2022 for three second-hand A330-200s.
The first of these planes is ready, as the Bolivian government revealed at the end of last month. The current registration aircraft N1452X belongs to Avolon and has already accumulated almost 10 years in service, having started its flights with Virgin Australia in 2013.
Despite its age, the A330-200 will renew BoA’s fleet, which currently relies on four Boeing 767-300s with around 28 years in service.
Interestingly, Boliviana de Aviación has operated an A330-200 in the past. For a short period of time, between December 2012 and June 2013, the airline flew the CS-TQW aircraft on a leasing basis with Hi-Fly, from Portugal.
The difference now is that Avolon’s A330-200 is powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 772 engines while the late CS-TQW had Pratt & Whitney PW4168 turbofans.