Azul Linhas Aéreas plans regarding the Airbus A350-900 may have changed. The Brazilian carrier has two aircraft of the model in service and two others that were linked to it. However, the two widebodies were now destined for Iberia, according to Planespotters.
The two A350s would have registrations PR-AOX and PR-AOZ and previously flew with Hong Kong Airlines until 2020.
Iberia expects to reinforce its long-range fleet with A350 aircraft, of which it currently has 16 aircraft. There are eight other jets on the way, including the two that were recently signed up for Azul.
Comings and goings
Azul has a long history with the A350s. The airline founded by David Neeleman had ordered the widebody in 2014 as part of its international expansion plan.
Some aircraft even partially received the airline’s livery, but in 2017 Azul abandoned the project to have the most modern aircraft from Airbus.
Shortly afterwards, the carrier announced that it had chosen the A330-900neo, then under development, to modernize its long-haul fleet, then formed only by the A330-200.
Meanwhile, some A350s were passed on to China’s Hainan Airlines, which was a shareholder in Azul at the time.
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During the pandemic, the jets ended up in storage, but about a year ago they were activated again, in preparation for delivery to the Brazilian airline.
Exclusive flights to Paris
Azul took delivery of the first A350-900 in September 2022 when the PR-AOY landed at Viracopos Airport, its main hub. According to a statement at the time, two jets would be received by the end of last year, which actually happened.
The A350 was placed on the route to Orlando (USA) until the end of April, when the two jets in the fleet were transferred to the new route to Paris (Orly), where they are currently maintained.
With 334 seats in three classes, the A350-900 is the airline’s largest aircraft, carrying 36 more passengers than the A330neo.
Although it has a much greater range (15,372 km versus 13,334 km for the A330-900), the A350 is a heavier aircraft (283 tonnes versus 251 tonnes for the A330neo).
It is worth noting that in its statements, Azul did not confirm at any time that it would receive four A350s. It remains to be seen whether keeping just two of these aircraft in the fleet is an efficient strategy.