DR Smith Foto
Air Belgium Airbus A340-300 arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on an elegent Saturday afternoon 2019 - Photo by Robson Smith
Air Belgium Airbus A340-300 arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) from London Heathrow International Airport (LRH) on an elegent Saturday afternoon 2019. As a quick recap, this Air Belgium A340 (OO-ABB) is flying to Toronto under British Airways. The British national carrier uses the leased jetliner to minimize the disruption to their long haul flights resulting from procautionary inspections on the Rolls Royce Trent 1000 engines equipped for their 787-9 aircraft, a global safety mandate by the engine manufacturer. Air Belgium, a new airline founded in 2016, took to the air in March of 2018 with with a fleet of four Airbus A340-300s. Currently, two of these planes are wet leased to other airlines - LOT Polish Airlines and, of course, British Airways. The airline has to date been unsuccessful as a scheduled and charter airline, hence the availability and mututually beneficial arrangements between Air Belgium and the companies it leases to. Behind this colourful livery, there is a neat story with an unorthodox ending. At the turn of 2018, Air Belgium had received four used A340-300s from their previuos operater, Finnair, and these four engined jets were being sold by Airbus, the manufacturing company, in full white livery. Prior to flying as an airline, Air Belgium understandably wished not to fly with these nondescript white liveries. However, time is paramount for launching airlines, and the company was unable to find the adequate combination of time, space, and livery specialists for the painting jobs. Consequently, they went to an inovative supplier, the BCO Aviation Team, who offers a new type of aircraft livery, using an ultra high performance, micro-perforated adhesive film in lieu of standard aviation industry paint. This film would be compoased of vinyl with a special coding and varnished treatment to alllow for long term extream operations and environments. And, best of all, the BCO Aviation Team was able to complete the job in under 30 hours, down from days for standard painting, and in the hangars where the planes were stored - no transportation was required. Thus, this plane does not sport the typical (and perhaps boring) hyper accurate paint job we've come to expect - it uses "stickers". In closing, we hope Air Belgium is able to surpass its current issues, but, in the intrum, it is a pleasure to welcome them to Toronto. Enjoy!
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