The Brazilian Air Force (FAB) confirmed on Wednesday that Azul SA, the holding company that controls the Brazilian carrier, was the winner of the KC-X3 competition, which aims to supply two used Airbus A330-200s to be converted into the MRTT transport and aerial refueling aircraft.
The FAB will purchase the two widebodies jets for $80.6 million, but the statement does not detail which aircraft will be supplied that must meet competition requirements, including having been manufactured after 2013 and having less than 28,000 flight hours and 4,200 cycles.
Azul S.A was the only company to attend the proposal reception session in February, although more than 50 potential interested parties contacted the Brazilian Aeronautical Commission, responsible for the bidding process.
The Brazilian company is not publicly listed as the owner of A330 aircraft. The carrier only operates leased jets of which only one would meet the competition’s requirements.
Azul confirmed to the Airway that it will exercise the option to purchase an A330, possibly the PR-AIS registration jet, which flew with the extinct Avianca Brasil.
According to a representative of an aircraft sales and leasing company consulted by ADN, the value offered by the Air Force was quite low, which would explain the absence of more competitors.
In a statement sent to Airway, Azul said that “it was the winning company in a bid carried out by the Brazilian Air Force, which was looking for large aircraft to strategically expand its fleet. Given the premises of the public notice, Azul was qualified to compete and made a proposal to supply the FAB with two Airbus A330-200 model aircraft. After signing the contract, the company will follow the terms of delivery of the aircraft, which will take place this year.”
The Brazilian Air Force decided to select the A330 MRTT as an aircraft intended for aerial refueling and long-distance transport missions after launching other previous tenders that selected the Boeing 767.