The 21st of July was not just Belgium’s National Day. It was also the day for Air Belgium’s new Airbus A330-941neo maiden flight.
The aircraft (MSN 1861) took off from Toulouse at 12:52 UTC with temporary registration F-WWKQ. Flight AIB01KQ lasted 3 h 20 min mostly over the Mediterranean Sea towards Corsica, during which Airbus test pilots performed a long series of checks on altitudes up to 41,000 feet (FL410).
This aircraft will be introduced with its new registration OO-ABG into passenger revenue service between Brussels and Mauritius by mid-October 2021.
The Airbus A330-941 MSN 1861 was initially ordered for Air Berlin (on lease from Air Lease Corp.), but never taken up after the bankruptcy of the airline. It was later painted in the colours of RwandAir with registration 9XR-WT, which also did not take it up from lessor ALC because of the coronavirus crisis.
Currently, it has a white livery (with only the engines having an Air Belgium logo) and temporary registration F-WWKQ. After a complete painting in Air Belgium colours, it will get the OO-ABG registration. Its sister aircraft MSN 1844 will be registered OO-ABF.
It is powered by Rolls Royce Trent 7000-72 engines.