LONDON — French leisure carrier Corsair has announced plans to phase out its three Boeing 747-400s, which will be replaced by five Airbus A330-900s. The last two jumbos will leave their fleet in May 2021, with the first aircraft to be retired in December 2020. LONDON —French leisure carrier Corsair has announced plans to phase out its three Boeing 747-400s, which will be replaced by five Airbus A330-900s. The last two jumbos will leave their fleet in May 2021, with the first aircraft to be retired in December 2020.
Corsair expects to take delivery of its first A330-900 in August 2020, with the rest following suit before May 2021. The airline placed an order for three of the type directly with the airframer, while the other two aircraft will be on a lease.
Corsair also plans to return its two A330-200s to the lessor. One of them in January 2020, once the carrier takes delivery of the first of two A330-300s on order. The last A330-200 will leave the fleet sometime in 2022. However, this is subject to changes. The last A330-300 is set to join the fleet in April 2020.
These new aircraft will be used mainly for expansion, as Corsair recently announced the launch of flights to New York-Newark from its Paris-Orly hub in June 2020. However, Corsair still hasn’t confirmed the aircraft type for the route.
“Corsair is a company with a great many assets. I have full trust in its potential. The replacement of the Boeing 747 and the shift to a single-model fleet will be crucial for Corsair’s future,” said Peter Oncken, the managing director of INTRO Aviation, the
Corsair will have transitioned to an all-Airbus fleet by May 2021. The airline has also planned to place smaller orders for additional aircraft sometime between 2021 and 2023, although it has declined to give more details on the number and type of aircraft to be ordered.
Once a common sight amid European operators, the Boeing 747 is quickly vanishing from the fleets of the old continent. Besides Corsair, KLM and Virgin Atlantic plan to retire their jumbos by 2021, leaving only three European operators — British Airways, Lufthansa and Spain’s Wamos Air. The Spanish airline has already announced the retirement of its 747-400s by 2023 and British Airways a year later, leaving the German carrier among the last operators of the type in the world.