Few aircraft are so unloved they get an order and loose it to make the booked total zero.
The Airbus A330-800neo is one such aircraft. It’s taken Airbus months to find anyone willing to take one one after Hawaiian Airlines dumped theirs, after being forced out of the cancelled A358 and into the A338. They went for a 787 order instead.
Now a minor storm is brewing in the Central African nation of Uganda, whose state airline has just signed up for two A338’s. They won’t be delivered until 2020 to re-launch the country’s defunct airline, and while lauding the decision in positive terms, the government has come under fire.
Uganda isn’t unused to corruption, and some feel that for the state airline to have been persuaded to take on the A338 when nobody else wants it – is a typical example of wheels being greased and back room deals.
Twenty years ago I’d have said no doubt. But Airbus have had to learn a painful lesson about such behaviour, and lost much of their senior management in the last couple of years to rumbling investigations over past alleged sins.
So finally the A330-800 has a customer. Will there be more?