olba wrote:MEA started Madrid today sending their latest A330 (OD-MEE).
I also had a question. I hear that they will make a decision on 5 new wide bodies soon (A330neo or B787), seems like its most probably the A330neo and they will swap their current A330s. Does it make sense to order more than 5 at this point? Especially when some European destinations can use the 332 more often like FRA and LHR (sometimes it is 320) while they can also use the capacity for the Gulf destinations. I think having 5 might be too little for their opps. Every time I go from DXB to BEY, the 332 is always packed.
I would guess--and this is a total guess--that they will keep OD-MEE until they receive all 5 new wide-bodies and then exercise an option to replace it. It is younger than the rest, and this would mean they will have 6 A330s as soon as the first neo is delivered. What leads me to think about this is the fact that they are doing something similar with the A320s, ordering 11 A321neos to replace the 11 oldest A320s, which leave the youngest pair operating probably past the last delivery in 2021. T7-MRF is just 2 years old, the CEO claims they like to operate aircraft for 8-9 years, so it has at least 6 more years in it, while the earliest 320 is already 9 years old.
I generally agree that they can use more wide-bodies, but keep in mind the A321neo will have a significant capacity increase. I do wonder if they will have two versions with different configurations.
Speaking of DXB, is there any indicator that EK will consider flying the A380 to BEY regularly, or was that one-off just a publicity stunt? It would really make a lot of sense, especially in the summer.