On October 25th, Air Greenland’s upcoming Airbus A330-800 took its first test flight out of Toulouse. The aircraft is due at the airline by the end of this year and will replace its one and only A330-200. Let’s look at the details of this flight as Airbus makes progress toward delivering the aircraft.
Aircraft and flight details
Air Greenland’s upcoming A330-800, with test registration F-WWCR is set to be registered OY-GKN with manufacturer serial number (MSN) 2020. This aircraft took off on Tuesday October 25th from Toulouse at 14:23 local time and flew out to the Bay of Biscay. After doing a few turns back and forth, the jet returned to Toulouse, landing at 18:17. The total duration of the flight was three hours and 54 minutes.
Data from AIB Family Flights indicates that the airframe was first spotted in May of this year, and then again with its full deep-red livery in August (albeit without engines). Then, at the start of this month, on October 5th, we finally caught a glimpse of the jet in its full functioning form.
Replacing the A330-200
As we’ve noted in previous articles, the upcoming A330-800 will replace Air Greenland’s one and only A330-200 – which is the only widebody operated by the airline. Indeed, other than the A330, the airline operates a mere seven De Havilland Canada Dash-8-200s turboprops.
This small fleet is indicative of Greenland’s low-volume operating environment, as well as the rugged conditions of the airports (or airfields) it serves. The current A330 (and the neo replacing it) is used to link Greenland with Denmark, which is a 3,428 km (2,130 mile) service between Kangerlussuaq and Copenhagen.
Having no need for two widebodies, the airline has put up its -200 for sale. As we noted in September, a British firm by the name of Skytech AIC has been tasked with selling the 24-year-old jet. The company has previously sold aircraft for and to numerous well-known airlines, including Singapore Airlines, easyJet, TUI, airBaltic and many more. Skytech AIC lists the A330-200 as available for sale from March 2023. While it’s an old aircraft type, A330ceos have an opportunity for new lives carrying cargo, as EFW has developed a process to convert the A330 into a dedicated freighter.
Air Greenland’s A330neo will be one of a kind in its fleet, but, at least for now, it will also be just one of eight globally. In fact, apart from Air Greenland, the -800neo variant doesn’t have many takers, with just Kuwait Airlines and Uganda Airlines currently operating the type. The former now has four while the latter operates two. Garuda Indonesia has signed a letter of intent for four of the type but its unknown if the carrier will follow through with this.
Are you excited to see this A330-800 go to Air Greenland? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.
Sources: AIB Family Flights, Planespotters.net, ch-aviation.com, FlightRadar24.com, Airbus