Toulouse, France - Today, first Airbus A330neo of Hi Fly made its maiden flight at the manufacturer's Toulouse facilities in France.
The Portuguese charter operator was initially expecting to take delivery of its first A330-900 in June but it will have to wait for a few weeks more until the aircraft receives its corporate livery and completes final ground and flight tests.
The European wet-lease specialist currently has ten Airbus A330-900 in its order book. Two of them will join the airline's fleet this year. Both aircraft were leased from the American lessor Air Lease Corporation. They will replace two Airbus A330-200 aircraft in the fleet.
The first A330-900 will be operated by the subsidiary Hi Fly Malta, while the second one is planned to be located at the carrier's Lisbon base in Portugal.
Hi Fly's A330-900s will be powered by the highly efficient new-generation Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines that were designed exclusively for the Airbus A330neo family jets.
Portuguese operator has already signed wet-lease contracts for its two A330-900 with undisclosed customers for 2019 and 2020.
Hi Fly chief executive Paulo Mirpuri noted that customers who operate an A330neo for 4,000 hours a year will save a few million dollars from their fuel consumptions when compared with an A330 classic.