The Portuguese wet-lease carrier HiFly has conducted test flights on one of their A340-300 aircraft, following significant maintenance activities to the airframe.
The flight was conducted over a one-hour period, between 10,000 and 20,000 feet in the skies above Beja, Portugal. Commander Mirpuri was joined in the cockpit by Captain Antonios Efthymiou. Engineers were also present for the test flight.
The test activities
HiFly recently saw maintenance activities to one of their Airbus A340-300 aircraft registered 9H-TQZ, an airframe with history as far back as 1997.
Following the maintenance activities, Commander Mirpuri, Captain Antonios Efthymiou and flight engineers took the aircraft for a test flight over the skies of Beja, Portugal.
The flight tests were conducted at altitudes between 10,000 and 20,000 feet over a one-hour time period.
During the flight itself, engineers Pedro Gomes and João Leonardo took notes on power plant performance, as well as making observations of the wings, pylons and engines while the aircraft was manoeuvred to the extreme in terms of its flight envelope parameters.
One of the tests conducted was reportedly a low-speed test, at which the aircraft was flown at the edge of a stall, with a test configuration of 100 knots indicated airspeed with a weight of 148 tonnes.
Following the completion of all tests, the aircraft received its bill of safe operations, and has since been returned to commercial operations.
The airframe history
As mentioned, the airframe in question is 9H-TQZ, an Airbus A340-300 with its roots dating back to the late 1990s, 1997 in particular.
Given its age, it should be apparent that the airframe has a broad history of operators. However, the aircraft in question has been with HiFly since 2013.
It has to this day operated under two HiFly AOCs, being HiFly (CS-TQZ) and HiFly Malta, in which it’s currently carrying the registration of 9H-TQZ.
The aircraft started operations with Singapore Airlines in 1997, and later became a part of the Boeing Aircraft Holding Company in 2003, where it remained for almost a year, as the airframe went to Emirates in 2004.
Since it’s time in Emirates from 2004 to 2013, the carrier has operated for HiFly in commercial wet-lease operations for carriers like Norwegian, XL Airways France and Saudi Arabian Airlines, according to data from planespotters.net. All in all, a long life with lots of operators served.
Recent Airbus delivery
HiFly has recently welcomed one additional A330-200 into its fleet, leaving the company with now two of the type.
Registered 9H-HFG, the A330-200 previously served its purpose with the Dutch flag carrier KLM, registered as PH-AON.
The aircraft features a three-class configuration across 268 seats, spread across Business Class, Premium Economy, and Economy.
The aircraft’s Business Class contains full-flat lie-down seats, designed to optimize comfort and living space for long flight durations.
The Business Class configuration is in a herringbone layout, in order to provide a sense of individual space and privacy whilst at the same time offering easy access to the aisle.
Across both Premium Economy and Economy, the cabin is fitted eight-abreast, all with personal space and generous legroom for increased comfort.
Additionally, each seat contains in-flight entertainment featuring USB charging ports and access to shared PC power outlets.
On the new fleet addition, HiFly President, Paulo Mirpuri, said the following: “We are delighted to welcome one more Airbus A330-200 into our fleet. Is an efficient, modern, state-of-the-art aircraft inside and out, offers comfort to passengers, and is a smart choice for customers.”
HiFly operates a fleet of Airbus aircraft, including A320, A330, and A340 models.
The airline was founded in 2005 and is based in Lisbon, Portugal. HiFly offers a variety of services, including ACMI (aircraft, crew, maintenance, and insurance) leasing, charter flights, and airline management. Its clients include other airlines, governments, tour operators, and sports teams.