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Air Calin

Smells lead to grounding of new Airbus A330 Neo

Air Calin had to ground a one month old Airbus A330 Neo. The reason: crews complain about the stench on board. This has already happened at other airlines.

Air Calin

The grounded Airbus A330 Neo of Air Calin.

His name is Luengöni. A month ago, Air Calin celebrated the arrival of its second Airbus A330 Neo, named after the beach in New Caledonia. Now the airline from the French archipelago in the South Pacific had to ground the aircraft temporarily. The reason: Smell on board.

The olfactory nuisance occurs during certain flight phases – especially when climbing and descending. «There are indeed certain smells,» says Air Calin CEO to the TV channel France Info. However, the level is within the permitted limits, the manager continues. Nevertheless, Luengöni was parked temporarily.

Airbus and Rolls-Royce looking for solution

Crew members had complained of nausea and headaches after flights. Experts from Airbus and engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce examine the aircraft with the registration F-ONET and try to find a solution to the problem. The flights planned with the A330 Neo are now carried out with classic A330s.

Similar incidents had already occurred at TAP. Crews complained about nausea, dizziness and vomiting after flights with the Airbus A330 Neo. The airline confirmed the incidents and investigated them. Tests had been carried out and there was no health risk for crews and passengers, it was said. Such odours are normal for new planes, sad a spokesperson for the airline. A spokesman for Airbus explained that they were working on a solution to the problem that some A330 Neo aircraft were experiencing.

Problem of bleed air

The breathing air in the cabin and cockpit of most modern aircraft is extracted unfiltered via the engines (except for the Dreamliner from Boeing). The technical term for this is bleed air. If engine oil burns, toxic vapours may be produced with the nerve poison TCP. These can enter the passenger cabin via the bleed air. This is harmless in small quantities. However, it is controversial whether this can cause damage to health if inhaled for years.

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