Azul expects first A330 in June

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Brazil's Azul is expecting its first Airbus A330-200 as early as June, ahead of its plans to launch international service to the USA in the first quarter of 2015.

The A330, one of three leased from ILFC, will be painted in Azul's livery in early May, says the airline's head of brand, culture and communication Gianfranco Beting. MRO provider AAR is overseeing the work at its facility in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Formerly operated by Gulf Air, the aircraft is about 12 years old, Beting tells Flightglobal.

Azul announced on 23 April that it plans to acquire six A330s and five A350s for its first international flights. The A350s are also being leased from ILFC. Beting says the airline is still in talks with lessors for the other three A330s that are not coming from ILFC.

The airline's A330s will be configured with 246 seats, 36 of which are in business class, says the carrier. It has not decided on the seat configuration for the A350s. A business class product will be a first for the carrier, which currently offers only additional legroom seats.

Azul's second A330 will likely arrive in July, says Beting, adding that the airline plans to have all six A330s in its fleet by the end of the year. Its A350s will be delivered in 2017.