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Trip Report: Flying on Azul’s Inaugural A330-900neo Flight from Sao Paulo to Recife in Business Class

Azul’s first Airbus A330-900neo awaiting its first departure. (Photograph: AirlineGeeks | João Machado)

Azul Brazilian Airways’ first worldwide flights have been announced in April 2014, solely six years into its operation. Fueling the worldwide enlargement have been seven secondhand Airbus A330-200s, a kind nonetheless used right now, and an order for five Airbus A350-900 XWBs. The Brazilian financial system was soaring, the Brazilian real was properly appreciated in relation to the dollar and gasoline costs have been at an all-time high. In such circumstances, the A350s, set to be delivered in 2017, have been well-needed.

An Azul Airbus A330-200 in Sao Paulo. (Photograph: AirlineGeeks | Joao Machado)

Since then, Brazil has confronted a severe recession, gasoline prices returning to an inexpensive worth and its foreign money strongly depreciating, which shrank the worldwide demand that when prompted Azul’s speedy enlargement. In the start of 2017, Azul announced it might cancel the delivery of the A350s. Although the airline gave up of the A350, it didn’t surrender on its international routes and introduced the order of 5 A330-900neo plane, the next-generation model of the Airbus A330-300.

The first aircraft, after some delays, was lastly delivered on Might 11 at the Airbus Delivery Centre in Toulouse, France with little fanfare regardless of it being the first South American airline to take delivery of the sort. Registered as PR-ANZ, the plane named “O Mundo é Azul” — Portuguese for “The World is Azul.”

Proudly sporting Azul’s colors, the A330neo will serve the identical markets as the current era A330s, connecting Azul’s most important hub in Campinas to Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Lisbon and Porto, as well as flying from Belo Horizonte and Recife to Orlando and from Recife to Fort Lauderdale. The two Floridian cities are the airline’s solely locations in the U.S., connecting Brazil to codeshare companion and fellow David Neeleman brainchild JetBlue Airways’ domestic route network.

Although the A330-200s are growing older, the A330neos are set primarily to add capability and never to substitute the A330ceos. The new aircraft function an extended fuselage, comparable to the A330-300, and in addition a crew relaxation section which can permit them to function longer routes, like Campinas-Paris.

According to Azul, the A330-900neo is about to burn 14 % less gasoline per seat, whereas carrying 26 extra passengers than the A330-200 – 298 compared to the 272 of the densest model of the A330-200. The plane encompasses a two-class configuration consisting of enterprise class and financial system class with 34 lie-flat seats in business class and 264 in financial system comprised of 108 Financial system Xtra seats and 156 in commonplace financial system seats.

Azul debuted the plane to the Brazilian traveling public on June 1 with a special flight between Sao Paulo and Recife, inviting AirlineGeeks onboard to doc the first revenue flight for the Airbus A330-900neo for a South American service.

Azul’s First Airbus A330-900neo Flight

Arriving at Campinas-Viracopos airport, the terminal is so outsized it amazes you. The results of a 2014 challenge when the federal government granted it to the personal sector, the airport was set to be, in the long run, a serious gateway to Brazil. Then, the recession took its toll and such a dream was shortly gone. Regardless that Viracopos is an excellent airport, it’s a large white elephant situated 70 miles away from Guarulhos. Virtually all passenger operations are made by Azul, which has a large hub there.

AD5304 was the primary Airbus A330-900neo flight for Azul. (Photograph: AirlineGeeks | João Machado)The flight marked the primary Airbus A330neo flight for a South American service. (Photograph: AirlineGeeks | João Machado)

Our flight to Recife can be AD5304, sometimes operated by a narrowbody Airbus A320 plane as an alternative of the widebody Airbus A330-900neo that might be gracing the route today. The scheduled flight time of 3 hours and 15 minutes would permit us all to get well-acquainted with the plane as we headed up the Brazilian coast for Recife.

Business class ticket on Azul’s initial A330neo flight (Photograph: AirlineGeeks | João Machado)

Commemorating the achievement, our gate, B07, was adorned with balloons and a banner. If the passengers onboard have been previously unaware, they now knew that in the present day’s flight can be a particular one. Azul’s Director of Network Planning and Alliances Marcelo Bento welcomed passengers and made a quick speech relating to the historic flight for Azul.

The gate area for Azul’s preliminary A330neo flight (Photograph: AirlineGeeks | João Machado)Azul’s first A330-900neo at the gate in Sao Paulo. (Photograph: AirlineGeeks | João Machado)

Simply after 1 p.m., boarding started for Azul’s first Airbus A330-900neo flight.  Each passenger acquired a tiny memento, which consisted of a bit of chocolate cake.

Azul’s first Airbus A330-900neo resting at the gate earlier than its first passenger flight. (Photograph: AirlineGeeks | Joao Machado)Boarding Azul’s first A330neo flight from Sao Paulo to Recife. (Photograph: AirlineGeeks | João Machado)

Onboard the aircraft, the thrill was palpable because it appeared everyone was eager to check out the new features of the recently-delivered aircraft. The inside nonetheless had the new aircraft odor, having been delivered from Toulouse lower than a month prior to its first flight.

The enterprise class cabin on Azul’s A330neo. (Photograph: AirlineGeeks | João Machado)Seat 4H, a window seat in Azul’s new business class cabin. (Photograph: AirlineGeeks | João Machado)

Earlier than our pushback, the chief flight attendant for the flight, Melissa, made an emotional speech in welcoming us onboard. Melissa was one of the first flight attendants for the airline and having been employed in 2008 when Azul was still beginning up, she had seen the airline develop to the place it’s at the moment.

Following a quick pushback and taxi, Captain Godoy lined PR-ANZ on the runway and shortly the Rolls Royce Trent 7000 engines have been at its most throttle. Their sound is spectacular because it’s so low you virtually don’t notice it, even sitting instantly in front as I used to be.

The Rolls Royce Trent 7000 engines are solely used for the Airbus A330neo plane line. (Photograph: AirlineGeeks | João Machado)

Six minutes later, the seatbelt sign was turned off. Then, it seemed as though every business class passenger began to take photographs of every element of the cabin.  Business class on the A330neo is arranged in a 1-2-1 configured with all seats featuring direct aisle access.

Along the wall of the plane are the aisle and window seats, with the window seats offering the best quantity of privateness. In the middle aisle, the 2 seat varieties are aisle seats and paired honeymoon seats, the latter proving a super touring experience for couples.

Aisle seats alongside the cabin wall present much less privateness than the window seats. (Photograph: AirlineGeeks | João Machado)The A330neo enterprise class cabin consists of 36 absolutely lie-flat seats in a 1-2-1 configuration. (Photograph: AirlineGeeks | João Machado)

In enterprise class, the massive in-flight leisure seats prolong from the seatback to face the passenger. The in-flight entertainment system consisted of three language choices: English, Portuguese and Spanish, and could possibly be controlled by way of a tethered remote or by way of the touchscreen.

The high definition in-flight entertainment screens in enterprise class are adjustable and prolong from the ahead seatback. (Photograph: AirlineGeeks | João Machado)The in-flight entertainment system might be managed by way of the touchscreen or a tethered remote in business class. (Photograph: AirlineGeeks | João Machado)

Preferrred for long-haul flights, the seats have a lie-flat functionality and could be adjusted as such by way of the management panel instantly next to the seat.

The lie-flat functionality of the enterprise class seat. (Photograph: AirlineGeeks | João Machado)

In financial system, the colourful seats are organized in the usual A330 2-Four-2 configuration consisting of Financial system Xtra and normal financial system seats, every one that includes its personal colour palette. The cabin is dividing amongst the 2 rear sections of the aircraft with Financial system Xtra seats featuring lighter shades and regular financial system seats that includes dark shades of blue.

The rear financial system class cabin consisting solely of ordinary financial system seats as indicated by the all-blue seats. (Photograph: AirlineGeeks | João Machado)Financial system Xtra seats featuring additional legroom are indicated by the tan and blue seats in the ahead financial system cabin. (Photograph: AirlineGeeks | João Machado)

Each seat featured private touchscreen in-flight entertainment screens for films, tv exhibits and a shifting map. Additionally, the seats featured adjustable headrests, coat hooks, 110v AC energy retailers and USB charging ports in addition to a foldable tray table and redesigned seatback pockets.

Every financial system seat includes a personal touchscreen in-flight leisure system. (Photograph: AirlineGeeks | João Machado)A sea of blue because the in-flight leisure screens mild up the financial system cabin. (Photograph: AirlineGeeks | João Machado)

Regardless of the engaging wanting system, nevertheless, there were only a few on-demand leisure options with a number of films and no music. Though this was solely a three-hour flight, Azul should undoubtedly add some more options for longer flights.

Incorporating Airbus’ Airspace cabin, the aircraft features little enhancements resembling temper lighting to improve passenger comfort and the aesthetics of the aircraft.

Temper lighting is among the key features of Airbus’ Airspace cabin. (Photograph: AirlineGeeks | João Machado)Some ceiling projections on Azul’s A330neo (Photograph: AirlineGeeks | João Machado)

The meal service in business class consisted of the normal Azul snacks, beverages and in addition two sandwich options. A credit to the Azul normal, I might say it is the greatest home service in Brazil, now that Avianca Brasil has gone.

The standard home enterprise class meal service consists of snacks, drinks and sandwiches. (Photograph: AirlineGeeks | João Machado)Lunch in Azul’s business class cabin. (Photograph: AirlineGeeks | João Machado)

The cruising altitude for the flight was 41,000 ft, nicely above a lot of the different air visitors. The decreased gasoline load due to the brief flight and the increased economics of the aircraft helped make that altitude potential.

The Brazilian flag flying proudly on the sharklet of Azul’s A330neo. (Photograph: AirlineGeeks | João Machado)

Earlier than starting our descent into Recife, the ultimate facet of the business class service, a fast beverage service, began, signifying the near finish of the flight.

A cup of coffee to end the service in Azul’s business class. (Photograph: AirlineGeeks | João Machado)

After a quick 3-hour journey up north, it was time to start our descent in Recife. Although upsetting, in fact,  the sights from our home windows can be rewarding throughout landing with the Recife metro area in full view.

Descending into Recife at sundown. (Photograph: AirlineGeeks | João Machado)Descending into a quiet Recife that’s getting ready for the night time ahead. (Photograph: AirlineGeeks | João Machado)

At 5:04 p.m. we made a particularly clean touchdown at Recife/Guararapes Worldwide Airport and the first Airbus A330-900neo flight for a South American service was complete.

Arriving in Recife following Azul’s first Airbus A330-900neo flight. (Photograph: AirlineGeeks | João Machado)The first flight crew of an Azul Airbus A330neo passenger flight. (Photograph: AirlineGeeks | João Machado)

AirlineGeeks would really like to thank Azul for inviting us onboard the primary flight of its Airbus A330-900neo

João Machado

João Machado

João has beloved aviation since he was six-years-old when he started visiting his house airport in Porto Alegre, southern Brazil. As he all the time beloved writing, in 2011, at age 10 he started his very personal aviation weblog. Many issues have happened since then, and now he’s putting all his efforts into being an airline director in the longer term. João now studies Business Administration at UFRGS and is making an attempt to get into an American school quickly.

João Machado

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