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Replacement for A330-200

A330 Neo in pole position at Air Greenland

Greenland carrier is looking for a replacement for its Airbus A330. Air Greenland is showing great interest in the successor version of the long-haul jet.

Aero Icarus/Flickr/CC-BY-SA 2.0 (bearbeitet)

A330-200 of Air Greenland: 17 years of service.

Only a few national airlines probably have a fleet mix like Air Greenland. The airline owns almost 20 helicopters and nine aircraft. In addition to seven Bombardier Dash 8-200’s and a smaller Beechcraft Super King Air, it has only one jet-powered commercial aircraft in its fleet: an Airbus A330-200.

The long-haul jet has been in service at the airline since 2002 and is enroute regularly between Air Greenland’s Kangerlussuaq hub and Copenhagen. In the coming years,  the Airbus A330 will be replaced due to its age. Air Greenland CEO Nitter Sørensen said last autumn that the airline was considering several aircraft models to replace its A330.

A320 and and 737 out of the race

There are now indications that Air Greenland has opted for the newly powered version of its previous long-haul aircraft, the Airbus A330 Neo. It is very similar to its predecessor and can be flown by pilots with the same type rating. According to the Greenlandic newspaper Sermitsiaq, the airline currently considers signing a purchase agreement with Airbus. The newspaper refers to anonymous sources and writes that it should be an A330-800. This would be good news for Airbus, as the smaller version of the A330 Neo is selling poorly.

Air Greenland had also considered buying a new Airbus A330 in the classic version. Also the purchase of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner was not excluded, as well as the order of smaller short- and medium-haul aircraft like the Airbus A320 Neo and Boeings 737 Max. Sørensen told CH Aviation that the airline rejected this idea because they could transport less freight than the larger long-haul aircraft.

Short runways awaiting the new aircraft

The decisive factor in the selection of aircraft is also their ability to operate from a relatively short runway. Air Greenland’s current base Kangerlussuaq will only be used by military aircraft from 2024 onwards. In the capital Nuuk and in the city Ilulissat, two large new airports are to be built as successors by the end of 2023.

Both new airports will have a runway with a length of 2200 meters. For long-haul aircraft, such a runway length is relatively short. The more powerful aircraft are in such conditions, the more kerosene, passengers or cargo they can carry.

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