BRUSSELS AIRLINES BEGINS LONG HAUL FLEET EXCHANGE
(Posted 30th November 2018)
Together with Lufthansa, Brussels Airlines is investing in the replacement of seven of its ten A330 long-haul aircraft. Already one aircraft left the airline’s fleet. It is the most substantial investment project in the 16-year long history of Brussels Airlines and the first time ever that the airline operates long-haul aircraft that are owned and not leased.
With the new long-haul aircraft, Brussels Airlines will be able to offer its customers even more comfort, with quieter, more efficient and environmentally friendlier planes. Besides new aircraft, the airline is also investing in an entirely new cabin interior for all three travel classes, providing guests an even higher on-board comfort and a best-in-class travel experience on all intercontinental flights to Africa and the North Atlantic.
After a comprehensive study where Brussels Airlines and Lufthansa looked at the current and future intercontinental network of the Brussels based airline, as well as at its capacity need for both passengers and cargo and the available aircraft on the market, it was decided last year to go for A330-300 CEO series. From an economic and operational point of view, this aircraft type is the best fit for Brussels Airlines as it brings many benefits such as a significantly higher range than its current Airbus A330 fleet and a higher maximum take-off weight offering more freight capacity.
While Brussels Airlines is currently flying with different engine types, the ‘CEO’ aircraft will all be equipped with Rolls Royce Trent 700 engines. This engine type, which consumes less fuel and emits less noise and CO2, is already in use at several other airlines of the Lufthansa Group.
Also for the Brussels Airlines Maintenance & Engineering Department, this harmonization and standardization is of an added value as it significantly reduces the complexity of maintenance and investment in stored parts.
The very first A330 with tail number OO-SFN successfully left the Brussels Airlines fleet last November 13th.
In December, the phase out of OO-SFM is planned, followed by OO-SFO, OO-SFY, OO-SFV, OO-SFW and OO-SFU in the course of 2019 and 2020. The first two new aircraft OO-SFC and OO-SFB have started their operations in November. The refleet program will gradually take place in the months to come and will be finalized by the beginning of 2020.
Passengers of Brussels Airlines in Eastern Africa will no doubt look forward to seeing the new birds come their way as the airline continues to serve the Brussels to Entebbe / Uganda route on a daily basis, with one of the services routing via Bujumbura / Burundi while the other six services route via Kigali / Rwanda.
Watch out for upcoming details on the new look Business Class, Economy Privilege Class and Economy Class.