Corsairfly to halve 747 fleet and acquire new long-haul jets

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French holiday carrier Corsairfly is to withdraw three of its Boeing 747-400s and replace them with smaller long-haul aircraft in an effort to increase efficiency.

The company, part of in-house airline fleet of TUI Group, will also receive substantial investment funding as part of the modernisation.

Corsairfly has six 747-400s and two Airbus A330-200s. But a consultant to the carrier, familiar with the details of the 'Take Off' efficiency plan, says the 747 fleet is "under-used" by around 20%.

"There are eight aircraft but it really uses seven," he says.

The programme to reshape the carrier's operation is to adopt a "three, two, two" approach to its fleet, he adds.

It will withdraw three of its 747-400s, leaving it with three 747s, two A330s and another two long-haul aircraft which have yet to be selected.

While additional A330 aircraft are a potential candidate, the consultant adds, a formal decision from the shareholders is "several months" away. The remaining 747s will be upgraded with a new cabin and the A330s will be "totally renovated".

Corsairfly employs around 1,500 personnel but the effects of the restructured fleet on staffing levels has yet to be determined in detail, he says.

"When you want to change some aircraft, you don't know how those aircraft will be used in future," he states. "If you add some brand-new aircraft - smaller, but completely adapted to demand - you don't know the future rotations of the team, and the social impact."

Corsairfly, he adds, is to support the modernisation plan with a "three-digit million" investment.