Eurowings in its new format was planned back in 2014 as Lufthansa prepared to launch a wide ranging strategy to deal with low cost long haul competition on the one hand (such as Norwegian and Tui Group both now equipped with long range 788’s, and Air Berlin with A330’s), and low cost short-medium haul in general. The later was to be operated as German Wings but with last years tragic pilot-induced crash, that brand is being phased out. Eurowings will form the basis of the entire low-cost arm. Eurowings isn’t itself new, having been used somewhat in the background as a regional carrier by Lufthansa since 1994.
Other airlines have also been testing Lufthansa’s patience – Turkish especially, even though a StarAlliance member has felt the wrath of a code share ban with Lufty in revenge for it ‘stealing’ so many German customers from Lufthansa’s back yard, and flying them from Istanbul to destinations further afield.
The idea is that a fleet of A330’s and A343’s, most transferred from Lufthansa but some leased in, will form the core long-haul element, mostly based out of Dusseldorf/Cologne and Munich. They will fly to Miami, Cancun, Puerto Rico, Barbados etc. as holiday destinations, rather than competing directly with the main Lufthansa brand. Costs should be lower, fares and what’s on offer cheaper. Not no frills, just pay for what you get, accepting it will be average quality rather than full service.
Personally, with Lufthansa’s long history of high costs and and its powerful unions, I’m nots sure it will ever see real business outside of Germany for long haul operations. Interestingly the short haul operations have commenced from Vienna as their first operating base.
This particular aircraft, D-AXGA an A330-203, was previously EVA Air’s B-16301, built in 2003 and leased from GECAS. She’d been withdrawn from use and stored at Taipei in early 2015 until Lufthansa/Eurowings took her on – good quality A330’s are hard to find used.
Because I fly more on Lufthansa (based on number of flights), that any other airline, (Virgin Atlantic wins on time spent flying), I’m a big fan of Lufthansa. Eurowings is an important development. An example had to be had.
This was ordered before the Delta A333 JCW produced for Gemini arrived just before Christmas. You know where this is going, right?
This aircraft is white. Very white. The tamp printed detail is all pretty much what you’d expect from a new mould with new processes. Aerials and domes are present and correct up top and below. There is little to moan about, other than it’s general blandness.
2) Wings and landing gear
As individual items, the wings are beautifully done. Until of course you realise that they are completely wrong and their position is a tragic farce not worthy of a major model manufacturer. They look stupid, with their tips not even in the position they would achieve in flight, but higher! Just like the Delta A333 made for Gemini, this is a perfectly good model shafted by an appalling error of judgement. Who on earth signed this off? Did they look at it? Did anyone dare say anything? Now I’ve seen this rubbish it rules out all Gemini and JCW A330’s for the foreseeable future. Who would accept this in their collection and please, don’t say ‘you should have bought the Phoenix’. Why? The last 8 A330’s, 6 of them had wings that either didn’t fit or fell off so yes, I chose the JCW as an alternate, fed up with Phoenix quality.
The stupid thing is there isn’t much wrong with this model other than these idiotic wings. If you don’t mind the fact these wings are so appallingly bad, well you just cannot be a real enthusiast or you’ve got money to chuck down the toilet.
Just to rub it in, the landing gear is fully functional, tilting bogies and working, rolling wheels, even though the alloy centres of the assembly are visible from behind where the case doesn’t fit.
Perfect. Really, they are spot on, and that makes the wing mould even more irritatingly bad. You could argue the grey is a little dark, but that seems to be down to how strong the light is rather than being an issue.
4) Nose detail
Beautifully done as is the rest of the fuselage in terms of print. There is one element I am not so happy about, where the nose gear fits, the mould seems to have a dent in it across the body.
5) Tail and stabilisers
The glue on the vertical stabiliser insert to the fuselage is too visible and there is a paint blur of the burgundy/pinkish type on the APU exhaust. Clumsy.
All perfect, spot on, excellent.
7) Score and conclusions
The wing mould is a massive fail. it isn’t that they are fitted wrongly, or there is some factory build fail, they are, quite simply, a mistake. A huge, expensive, stupid mistake. They spoil what could be a good A330 mould, add to that the strange nose ‘dent’, where the nose gear fits, it’s actually far from excellent. Despite it all, just like the Delta A333, this is a massive missed opportunity to have seized the A330 production crown, instead it’s missed it’s mark by a mile.
-30 for the wings because they are so awful, an embarrassment to look at. -4 for the paint on the APU exhaust, -4 for the strange dink in the mould at the nose gear, -2 for the visible alloy in the landing gear. 60%. This model is being returned to the retailer for a full refund.
I also have to add that you won’t see me buying another Gemini/JCW A330 with this mould ever again. If you value the quality of your models, neither will you, until they fix it.