The Brazilian carrier Azul Linhas Aéreas has signed a new long-term contract selecting Airbus’ Flight Hour Maintenance Services (FHS) for their A350 fleet. The airline has recently received its first Airbus A350-900 aircraft after many years of delay and expects to add more widebodies to its fleet in the coming years. 

Airbus and Azul add a new contract

Azul Linhas Aéreas is a long-time partner and customer of Airbus in Brazil. The airline is not new to the European company’s FHS as it was Airbus’ first FHS customer in Latin America when it selected component services provision for its A320 fleet. Azul later expanded its partnership to encompass its entire A320 and A330 fleet. 

On Monday, Airbus announced Azul will bring another first for Airbus Services in the region, as it signed the region’s first A350 maintenance-by-the-hour contract. It also represents the second A350 contract signed in 2022. 

Azul currently owns one A350-900 and expects to receive four more in the future. This plane is not new; it is nearly five years old and previously flew with Hong Kong Airlines. The Brazilian carrier expects to use its A350 fleet in long-haul services to the United States. 

Looking at the new contract

The multi-year, maintenance-by-the-hour contract signed by Azul covers integrated component services, including on-site stock, pool access, and repair services. Airbus will also offer the airline its engineering expertise and FHS local representatives in Brazil. 

Raphael Linares, Fleet and Aircraft Programs Director at Azul, said, 

“Entering into this new agreement with Airbus for FHS services is instrumental for Azul to ensure timely access to a wide variety of components coupled with a comprehensive package of support and services. Ultimately, this agreement will directly contribute to our rigorous fleet reliability and performance requirements.”

Meanwhile, Yohan Closs, Airbus Head of Customer Services for Latin America, added,

“The entire Airbus fleet of Azul Brazilian Airlines is now supported by Airbus FHS; covering the airline’s new A350 fleet was the next logical step to ensure a seamless customer experience and facilitate their operations.” 

Azul and Airbus in 2022

The Brazilian carrier not only received its first A350-900 this year (becoming Latin America’s only A350 operator after LATAM rejected the leasing contracts of its A350 fleet last year). Azul also signed a firm order for three A330-900s. 

These widebodies will allow Azul to “further expand its international network and complement its existing A330 operations, bringing the airline’s total fleet of A330neo aircraft to eight,” said Airbus. 

Overall, Azul currently has a fleet of 163 aircraft, including 13 widebodies. It has seven A330-200s, five A330-900s, and one A350-900. 

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Daniel Martínez Garbuno is a Mexican journalist. He has specialized in the air industry working mainly for A21, a Mexican media outlet focused entirely on the aviation world. He has also published on other sites like Simple Flying, Roads & Kingdoms, Proceso, El Economista, Buzos de la Noticia, Contenido, and Notimex.

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