Azul Adds Airbus A330 Capacity To Portugal

The Brazilian carrier Azul Linhas Aereas will add capacity on its routes to Portugal later this year. By…

Azul Adds Airbus A330 Capacity To Portugal

The Brazilian carrier Azul Linhas Aereas will add capacity on its routes to Portugal later this year. By December, compared to August, the number of seats available will double, according to local reports. Where else is Azul flying its long-haul fleet? Let’s investigate further.

Azul is adding more capacity to Portugal using its Airbus A330 fleet. Photo: Airbus

More capacity to Portugal

Following Portugal’s decision to reopen its border to Brazilian travelers without quarantine requirements, Azul has decided to add new capacity to the country.

Azul will double the number of available seats to Portugal in December, compared to August, the local media outlet Aeroin reported.

Nevertheless, Azul is increasing its capacity to Portugal starting in October. Next month, the airline will have one daily flight between Campinas International Airport in Sao Paulo (VCP).

The airline recently said in a statement,

“The extra flights already in October are a quick response that we are giving to the increase in demand and sales of trips to Portugal since the relaxation of entry rules in the country. In the next two months, we will make occasional additions to the offer we already had, but, confident in the consolidation of demand and the maintenance of the current rules, we are planning a daily flight between our biggest hub and Lisbon in December.

“Portugal is an important destination for Azul and offers comfort to our clients, who boards from Campinas on a direct flight to Europe. We are excited about this beginning of the international resumption.”

Azul A330
Azul has 11 Airbus A330 aircraft in its fleet. Photo: Nicky Boogaard via Wikimedia Commons.

Where else is Azul using its A330s?

Azul has 442 scheduled flights in October using its Airbus A330 fleet, according to Cirium’s database. It will offer 118,601 seats across five routes, of which only a couple will be international.

The Brazilian airline will operate its A330 fleet from Campinas International Airport. It will fly to Fort Lauderdale (US), Lisboa (Portugal), and the domestic destinations Fortaleza, Manaus, and Recife.

What’s impressive is that Azul is already scheduling more flights and offering more capacity with the Airbus A330 than it did a couple of years ago. According to Cirium, Azul has 39.7% more flights in October 2021 (compared to 2019) and 47.1% more seats.

Nevertheless, Azul still has to reactivate several routes it used to operate with the Airbus A330. For instance, the airline has to put the aircraft back on flights between Campinas-Oporto, Campinas-Orlando, and the routes on Recife-Orlando, and Recife-Fort Lauderdale. Following the US decision to ease its travel restrictions, maybe Azul will restart these flights shortly.

Azul A320
Azul is already carrying more than 70% of its pre-pandemic passengers. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

How is Azul’s recovery going?

Azul has had the best recovery in Brazil so far. The airline is already carrying more than 70% of its passengers in 2019, while GOL and LATAM continue to struggle in the mid 50%.

Azul has benefited from a unique route map. The company is the only operator on approximately 80% of its routes.

In October 2021, Azul is scheduling 21,483 flights, according to Cirium. It will deploy 2.85 million seats across its destinations. Those two numbers are 19.5% and 10.7% below their pre-pandemic levels, respectively. Moreover, the summer season is just heating up in the Southern Hemisphere; therefore, we can expect Azul to finish the year strong, maybe even close to 100%.

According to ch-aviation, Azul has a fleet of 151 aircraft. Currently, only six are inactive, while the 145 remaining are flying throughout Azul’s several routes.

Have you been onboard Azul’s Airbus A330 fleet? How was your trip? Let us know in the comments.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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Which Countries Still Haven’t Recertified The Boeing 737 MAX?

Boeing’s 737 MAX is now allowed to fly in most countries, with India recently lifted its MAX ban.…

Which Countries Still Haven’t Recertified The Boeing 737 MAX?

Boeing’s 737 MAX is now allowed to fly in most countries, with India recently lifted its MAX ban. Of the countries still to allow the MAX to resume flying, China stands out. China is the biggest aviation market still to let the 737 MAX resume flights.

To date, some 175 countries have recertified Boeing’s 737 MAX. Photo: Boeing

One big country is lagging others

Following two fatal crashes in six months, airline regulators worldwide grounded the 737 MAX in March 2019. It wasn’t until November 2020 that the US regulator recertified the MAX. While the FAA is influential, most nations have their own safety regulators. Some, for a raft of reasons, took their time giving the MAX the green light.

Among the big airline markets, Brazil was one of the first countries out of the gate. Brazil allowed the MAX to fly again in November 2020. In December, Mexico gave the MAX the thumbs up to start flying again. The following month, in January 2021, both Canada and the EU cleared the MAX to resume flying.

Many smaller countries followed the lead of the larger nations. To date, around 175 countries have recertified the 737 MAX. Getting the MAX back in the air was particularly pertinent if airlines based in a particular country flew the type. But there were some laggards. India only recently fully cleared the 737 MAX to resume flying after initially allowing foreign airlines to fly the MAX in and out of Indian airspace in April.

737-MAX-9
Most countries followed the FAA’s lead in recertifying the 737 MAX. Photo: Boeing

China continues to lag other countries in recertifying the 737 MAX

Which brings us to China. There are many reasons why China is taking its time recertifying the 737 MAX. Not all of them are related to safety. Last month, a Boeing 737 MAX-7 flew to Shanghai to operate a series of test flights for Chinese regulators. However, according to The Global Times, a Beijing newspaper that many consider the voice of the Chinese Government, successful test flights won’t automatically lead to recertification.

“China’s civil aviation authorities always uphold three principles,” the newspaper quotes Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijia. “First, aircraft alteration must be approved for airworthiness. Second, pilots must be fully and effectively retrained. Third, the conclusion of the investigation of the two fatal accidents must be clear, and the improvement measures effective.”

The three biggest Chinese airlines, China Southern, Air China, and China Eastern, have 737 MAXs. Until recent years, one-quarter of all planes Boeing built went to China. But an ongoing trade war between China and the United States saw Boeing’s deliveries into China dry up. China is also putting a lot of emphasis on supporting homegrown aircraft manufacturer COMAC.

air-china-737-max-8
An Air China Boeing 737 MAX 8. Photo: Boeing

China’s cautious airline safety regulator

While China’s aviation regulator, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), has continued to work on recertifying the MAX, it is taking its time. Once having a patchy safety record, China has now not recorded a fatal commercial airline accident in over a decade, and the CAAC has grown into an ultra-cautious regulator.

That’s no bad thing, but as noted, there is more at play here than safety. Nonetheless, Boeing’s CEO Dave Calhoun has previously said he expects the 737 MAX back in the air in China by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, China remains the last significant airline market not to recertify the 737 MAX.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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