Airbus has admitted that its new 330neo models- snapped up by TAP for long-haul flights – ‘have a problem’.
More to the point, the ‘green’ planes showcased for being “more efficient and environmentally friendly” could have a number of problems.
Even the word ‘green’ is strangely inappropriate now, as it could be better applied to the post-flight skin colour of crew and passengers than the carbon footprint of the planes themselves.
As reports explained last month, episodes of nausea, vomiting and ‘general indisposition’ have been “frequently registered” since TAP became the first company in the world to operate the Airbus A330neo (click here).
At the time, nothing official seemed able to explain what was happening.
Now, various news sources have reported that Airbus has ‘recognised’ two separate issues that could be causing the ‘bad smells’ and general malaise of those operating and travelling on A330 neos.
In a letter addressed to TAP over a month ago, the manufacturer said one problem centres on “small drops of oil released during the start of the engine”, while the other could be related to “the interaction of air from the high-pressure compressor (in the air conditioning system) and the paint that covers the plane”.
Both issues have been ‘tackled’, but reports indicate that the bad smells persist.
Airbus therefore has admitted that it “cannot discount other potential causes”.
Effects have been such that pilots have been forced to land wearing oxygen masks.
But while further tests are ongoing – and a full report is expected by the end of the month – there doesn’t appear to be any hard and fast findings.
Says TSF radio Airbus is “limiting itself to affirming that it is ‘working closely with the operator (TAP) which registered these events”.
Meantime, cabin crew syndicate SNPVAC has threatened strike action if the problems continue.
Pilots however are averse to creating ructions, saying they are ‘following progress but don’t want to cause alarm that could compromise the operations of TAP”.
TAP has stressed that the problems have nothing to do with ‘oxygen insufficiency’ and do not pose any kind of danger to the health and well-being of its crews and passengers.