9 Nov 2019

Stink grounds Aircalin's new Airbus in New Caledonia

11:52 am on 9 November 2019
Aircalin's first Airbus A330-900neo.

Aircalin's first Airbus A330-900neo. Photo: Airbus

Unpleasant odours inside one of its new Airbus planes have prompted New Caledonia's international airline to ground the aircraft for a thorough inspection.

Aircalin crew members noticed a smell of oil and complained of headaches and irritated eyes in the Airbus A330neo which was put into service last month.

Technicians of the aircraft manufacturer and the engine supplier Rolls-Royce are trying to establish the source of the problem and fix it.

Aircalin's CEO told the Nouvelles Caledoniennes newspaper that the smell is produced when the plane is ascending or descending.

The grounding has not affected the flight schedule because the carrier still has its old Airbus A330 aircraft.

It's not clear how long the new Airbus will be out of operation.

The Nouvelles Caledoniennes newspaper says similar issues with new A330neo planes were reported by Air Portugal and Air Senegal.

Aircalin has two new A330neo planes and in the next two years it will replace its two A320 aircraft with A320neo planes.