DALLAS – French carrier Corsair (SS) has confirmed to Airways that its last Airbus A330-200 left the fleet last Thursday. F-HCAT was the first A330 to join the airline’s fleet in 1999.
Corsair is a long-haul French airline based at Paris-Orly Airport (ORY). The airline mostly serves French overseas destinations but also operates long-haul flights to Montreal (YUL) and Abidjan (ABJ), as well as Bamako (BKO) and Punta Cana (PUJ) during the summer.
The airline is the fifth biggest European international carrier from ORY, with almost 11% of the airport’s seat offer this week, according to airlinedata.com.
The airline currently operates nine aircraft, all Airbus A330s. Indeed, SS flies four A330-300s, the largest version of the older A330, and five A330-900s, the neo version of the -300. Those A330neo already constitute a majority of the airline’s fleet, and SS will replace its last A330-300 with four A330neo.
This means that the French carrier should only fly A330-900s by 2024, which is a fast fleet renewal, as the first A330neo was delivered to the airline in 2021. SS will therefore soon operate one of the youngest fleets in the market, with an average age of two years.
Airbus has recently created new engine options (neo) for many of its best-selling aircraft types. It makes the A330neo more modern and fuel-efficient compared to older aircraft. Apart from the new engines, the A330neo also features new wingtips, which contribute to the aerodynamics of this aircraft.
These innovations greatly improve fuel efficiency, as the A330neo consumes 25% less fuel per seat than older generation jets. Moreover, the aircraft is a lot quieter for people on the ground than it is for passengers in the cabin, according to SS.
The Airbus A330-200
Airbus developed the A330-200 in 1995 as a smaller version of the A330-300, carrying fewer passengers but offering a longer range. The aircraft was quite successful, as the European planemaker delivered 650 units of the type to airlines worldwide, according to Airbus’ official documents.
The aircraft first flew in 1997, and SS took delivery of its first unit in 1999. The airline’s first A330 is registered F-HCAT and flew for SS for 23 years. It was the last A330-200 to be returned to its owner last week when it flew from ORY to Saint Athan (DGX) in the United Kingdom.
While F-HCAT left the fleet last week after two decades of service, the A330 will still be the only airliner in SS’s fleet for many years.
Featured image: SS A330-200 F-HCAT landing in Paris. Photo: Tony Bordelais/Airways