HiFly Airbus A330 stored at Ostend Airport

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HiFly Airbus A330-300 registered 9H-HFE © Ostend Airport, Credits to Wim Opdedrynck

A HiFly Malta Airbus A330-300 widebody registered 9H-HFE has landed at Ostend-Bruges Airport, which is exceptional as a passenger aircraft.

The all-white aircraft was only recently acquired by Portuguese ACMI operator HiFly and flown to Frankfurt for a retrofit into a cabin including 30 business seats and 255 economy seats

Airlines expect that many aircraft will remain on the ground for months and Ostend will become a parking space to store them in perfect condition. A joint venture between the North Sea Aviation Center and Sabena Aerospace is providing this new service at the coastal airport.

Erik Vermeersch, North Sea Aviation Center, said: “It is now clear from the COVID-19 crisis that a large number of aircraft will not be flying for a year. As a result, leases are terminated early. The owners are looking for a nice location in a favourable airport for the long-term parking of the aircraft.

And perhaps this can also yield a welcome extra income for the airport, as the passenger flow has hardly restarted in Ostend after the lockdown.

Said the Portuguese pilot George Sleiman after leaving his parked aircraft: “All those planes that can’t fly, it’s sad. But there’s nothing we can do about that. It’ll have to rest for a while.

Source of the quotes: Focus WTV

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