A330-900neo Visits Dublin
A blast from a storm can bring in all sorts……......…Like tumbleweed blowing in the wind, come to a pause, ships finding refuge in port, a shelter till the worst is over.
While air traffic has drastically declined during the pandemic, one silver lining hasn’t gone unnoticed. A surge in uncommon aircraft and airlines at airports, which traditionally wouldn’t see such new-comers. Whether its PPE deliveries by typically unseen airlines, passenger aircraft in the role of freighters or indeed unusual visitors in association with repatriation missions. This activity is ongoing and indeed from an enthusiast perspective, a welcome.
Dublin Airport played host again to a first-visit, in recent days, when Airbus A330-900neo (CS-TKY) of Hi Fly landed wearing a spectacular livery of white, grey & blue ribbon-esque swirls. Appearing every bit the overly large business-jet, the A330-900neo is the first ‘900 series to touch down at Dublin Airport.
Its arrival at 09:42 on Friday, March 12th saw the A330 conduct a short 35 min flight from Manchester Airport, having performed a much longer sector from Islamabad, Pakistan, taking over 8 hrs. A couple of hours on the ground at Dublin and it was readied for departure back to Manchester, lifting at 12:12. Three hours later and CS-TKY was again en route to Islamabad from the UK.
Two days later on Sunday, March 14th, having returned to Manchester from Pakistan, CS-TKY included Dublin for the second time in its sector, landing here at 10:02. After remaining on Irish terra-firma for a few days, by St. Patrick’s Day (Wed 17th March) it was time for the A330 to be on its way, departing Dublin for Manchester at 11:50. From MAN it was on to Islamabad once again.
Portuguese charter airline Hi Fly, operate a fleet of all Airbus aircraft, A319’2, A321’s, A330-200’s, A330-300’s, A330-900’s and A340’-300’s. With currently up to six A340’s in the fleet, a type firmly on enthusiasts radar, especially now as a number of scheduled airlines are retiring the quad-jet.
Of the six A330’s listed with Hi Fly, two are the latest ‘900neo series, our Dublin visitor and the other is leased to Air Senegal (9H-SZN), painted in the colourful livery of the West African airline.
The airline, based at Beja Air Base, fronted by the charismatic Paulo Mirpuri (a captain himself), was brave enough to acquire an A380 - the only charter airline to do so. 9H-MIP (Mirpuri) was also the first A380 to be converted for cargo duties, helping to transport PPE in the fight against Covid-19. Seats were removed and the cabin was prepared to accommodate substantial amounts of cargo, in fact up to 68 tons. Sadly the ‘double decker’ was withdrawn from service in December 2020.
Photo by matdu20eme