It looks like Air Greenland will be replacing their current A330-200 with a new A330-800neo!
Basics of Air Greenland
Air Greenland is such a cool airline that I look forward to flying this coming summer. The airline currently has a single wide body plane, which is an Airbus A330-200 that they use for flights to Copenhagen.
On top of that, the airline operates a fleet of turboprops, which they use for flights within Greenland, as well as for flights to Iceland.
Air Greenland orders Airbus A330-800
As reported by check-in.dk, Air Greenland has placed an order for an Airbus A330-800, intended to replace their current A330-200. The plan is for the airline to take delivery of the plane in the fourth quarter of 2021, so the airline will have their new plane in less than two years.
For quite a while there has been talk of the airline refreshing their fleet, so an evolved version of the A330 doesn’t come as much of a surprise.
The A330-200 that the airline currently operates is about 22 years old, as the plane has been flying since 1998. It initially flew for Sabena, and then has been flying with Air Greenland since 2002.
The list price of the plane is 260 million USD, though I imagine the airline got a significant discount.
The A330-800neo is unpopular
The choice to order an A330-800neo is surprising, because this has been an incredibly unpopular plane.
While the A330-900neo has sold well, with over 300 orders, we’ve only seen two other airlines order the A330-800neo:
- Kuwait Airways has ordered eight
- Uganda Airlines has ordered two
Ultimately I guess they thought the A330-800 offered the best capacity for the airline, though it’s still a bit surprising.
Greenland expanding two airports
Currently Air Greenland’s A330 exclusively operates between Kangerlussuaq and Copenhagen. Kangerlussuaq isn’t a major destination in Greenland, but rather it’s just the only airport with a runway capable of handling the A330.
That will be changing soon. The two biggest tourist destinations in Greenland are Ilulissat and Nuuk, though currently their airports are only capable of handling smaller planes.
However, new airports in Ilulissat and Nuuk are expected to open in late 2023, and at that point the plan is to operate direct flights from Copenhagen to those destinations.
The hope is that tourism to Greenland will increase by double digits, between the opening of these new airports, along with the increase in capacity from the new plane.
I wonder what the new interior will look like
I’ll be curious to see what kind of interiors Air Greenland chooses for their A330-800neo. Air Greenland’s A330-200 features 278 seats, including 30 business class seats and 248 economy seats.
Business class seats are only slightly more spacious than you’d find in domestic first class in the US, so it’s not much to get excited about. Then again, Air Greenland’s longest flight is under five hours, and they don’t operate any redeyes, so that does seem sufficient.
I wish we’d see a New York to Greenland flight
I know I’m totally dreaming here and this will almost certainly never happen, especially since Air Greenland only has a single long haul plane. But it sure would be nice to see a nonstop flight from the US to Greenland.
Currently if you want to go to Greenland you can either:
- Fly to Copenhagen and then backtrack to Greenland
- Fly to Iceland, and then backtrack to Greenland on a three hour turboprop flight
New York to Nuuk is only about ~1,850 miles, so it’s shorter than any flight from Copenhagen. It would be so cool to eventually see a seasonal, twice weekly flights between the markets, though unfortunately I doubt we’ll ever see that. Well, at least as long as the US isn’t allowed to buy Greenland. 😉
Heck, while I’m totally dreaming, Gander to Nuuk is only about 1,060 miles. You hear that, Air Canada? It’ll be a goldmine, I swear. 😉
Congrats to Air Greenland on the choice to order an A330-800neo. On the one hand, the choice to order such a rare and unpopular plane is surprising, but I’d be willing to bet they got a deal on it.
It’s also exciting to hear that new airports are being developed in Ilulissat and Nuuk, which will make travel to Greenland’s popular destinations easier.
I do wish we’d see Air Greenland expand significantly and add a second long haul plane, though I realize that probably simply isn’t realistic. The country simply doesn’t have the lodging and infrastructure to handle a huge influx of tourists.
What do you make of Air Greenland’s A330-800neo order?