Swedish charter carrier Sunclass Airlines has started service to Aruba once again. On Friday, Aruba’s Queen Beatrix International Airport officials confirmed that the carrier reinstated flights between Aruba and Stockholm.
The return is the first time Sunclass has operated flights to Aruba since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Service between Stockholm and Aruba is limited, with flights taking place on two Thursdays each month through March 2023.
A welcomed return
Ving, the company that owns Sunclass, spoke about the relaunched service in a statement.
“And after a couple of years of absence, the eyes are now once again turned towards the Caribbean with old favorites such as Mexico, Jamaica, Aruba and the Dominican Republic.”
Aruba’s airport has also looked forward to Sunclass returning. In a statement obtained by the Caribbean Journal, airport officials said,
“Sunclass Airlines is finally back on the One Happy Island for the winter season 2022-2023 charters.”
Two decade-old A330s
An Airbus A330 aircraft operates the route. Sunclass’ small widebody fleet consists of one A330-200 and one A330-300, both over 20 years of age. In an effort to modernize its fleet, the airline placed an order for a newer, more fuel-efficient A330neo last year.
In September, Sunclass took delivery of its A330-900, the larger variant of the A330neo series. According to ch-aviation, the jet was 1.7 years old at the time of delivery and had not yet operated a commercial flight. The aircraft was leased from Air Lease Corporation.
Ving said the new A330neo on long-haul flights would have up to 23% less CO2 emissions per seat kilometer and noise level reduced by 33% compared to its current A330s.
Suitable for seasons
The Swedish airline has reportedly planned to configure the new A330 with different seating layouts from season to season. Since Sunclass flies to several leisure destinations, the ebb and flow of demand throughout the year will determine the aircraft’s configurations.
“The experience onboard also gets a boost in the form of new ergonomic seats for a more comfortable journey, each seat is also equipped with larger video screens, and the cabin gets so-called mood lighting,” the company said in a statement.
Simple Flying previously reported data from Flygtorget that the A330-900 will have a two-class configuration consisting of 84 premium economy and 289 economy seats. For summer operations, primarily to Mediterranean destinations, the airline plans to reconfigure the aircraft with a one-class layout, seating 385 passengers.
In anticipation of its new aircraft and to rebuild its network, Sunclass released its winter 2022 charter schedule a year prior, which is earlier than it usually does, according to Ving communications manager Claes Pellvik.
“This year’s  winter release is the earliest ever where we want to meet the demand from many of our customers who already now want sun protection next winter ,” Pellvik said. “The Caribbean destinations are very popular and in demand, so that we can once again turn our eyes to the west feels very fun.”
The airline has not confirmed if the A330-900 will play a part in service to Aruba. Still, Ving said the aircraft would serve long-haul destinations this winter and selected Mediterranean destinations by the summer of 2023. Sunclass also has plans to fly the new aircraft to Vietnam and Thailand.
Sources: Caribbean Journal, ch-aviation