Lisbon, Portugal - Nausea, dizziness, vomiting: Pilots and flight attendants of TAP Air Portugal have felt sick after long flights with the Airbus A330neo.
TAP crews flying with the airline's newest wide-body jet complained of nausea, dizziness, and vomiting. Airbus, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Portuguese aviation authority ANAC are investigating at least 12 incidents reported, but the cause is not known yet.
TAP Air Portugal is the launch operator of the Airbus A330-900. The carrier received the first aircraft last year in November. The airline currently has seven A330-900 in service and nine more are expected to join the operator's fleet over time.
TAP's A330neos are powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines and operated on the transatlantic routes of the Portuguese flag carrier.
But the introduction of the A330neo is overshadowed by a series of illnesses reported by several pilots, flight attendants and also some passengers.
According to the Portuguese radio station "TSF", pilots set up oxygen masks last week on a flight to Brazil to avoid nausea and dizziness.
Some of the new A330neos might have released odor from the air conditioning systems, such exhalations are normal for new aircraft and disappear shortly after first use. The cabin technology ensures that any form of air contamination is avoided. an airline spokesperson told a local news agency.
The TAP union SNPVAC said that at least twelve incidents were reported. The crews suspect low air exchange in the cabins. Airbus has carried out a few tests to determine the source of the problem. A report will be available by the end of July.
Data from Airbus and independent research centers revealed that the air quality in the A330neos is within normal industry standards. The air circulation is the same as in the cabins of the previous generation A330s, TAP said in a recent statement.
The A330-900 registered CS-TUF, which was delivered to the Portuguese carrier in March 2019, was sent to the Airbus's Toulouse facilities in early April for an in-depth inspection.
The European Aviation Safety Authority EASA and Portugal's civil aviation regulator ANAC have also been informed about the incidents and analyses made by Airbus, TAP Air Portugal and third parties.