Azul Airbus A350-900 PR-AOW

Azul carrier returns one of two Airbus A350s to lessor

Aircraft flew to San Bernardino Airport, California, after being parked for more than two months

The era of the Airbus A350-900 at Azul Linhas Aéreas appears to be coming to an end. The Brazilian airline sent one of the two widebodies it had in its fleet to San Bernardino Airport, in California, (US) in recent days.

The PR-AOW widebody had been delivered in December 2022 and flew for the carrier until December 31, 2023.

For about a year, the A350 flew from the company’s hub in Viracopos to destinations such as Orlando and Paris on its largest long-haul routes.

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Even with all the onboard technology and efficiency, the aircraft would not have been able to offer an attractive operating cost.

The first aircraft arrived in Brazil in September 2022 (Azul)

On Saturday, February 17, the A350-900 PR-AOW departed for the United States, making a technical stopover in Orlando before landing in San Bernandino the following day.

The aircraft was returned to its lessor, which should also occur with the first A350 added, PR-AOY, which stopped flying on January 30th.

Suspension of long-distance flights

Days before the A350 transfer flight, Azul confirmed the suspension of routes departing from the Brazilian cities Belo Horizonte and Recife to Fort Lauderdale and Orlando in Florida.

Flights will no longer be operated between March 1st and the end of May and passengers will be accommodated on other flights from Viracopos, Belém and Manaus, the last two operated with Airbus A320 jets.

Azul has five A330-900neo in its fleet (Denmen Aviation Photography/CC)

Although the reason for the cancellations was not explained, Azul may have been forced to reduce its route network due to its limited long-haul fleet, currently restricted to four Airbus A330-200s and five A330-900s.

Azul is looking to add second-hand A330 jets soon, however. There are four A330-200s and two A330-900s that appear linked to the airline for future delivery.

In addition, the carrier placed an order for seven new A330-900s that will be delivered in the coming years, when Azul intends to standardize its long-haul fleet with the model.


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