Air Europa is a Spanish airline based in Madrid, Barcelona, and at Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Somehow it’s one of those airlines that few seem to have heard of outside of Spain, even though it’s been around thirty years this year (2016). It’s part of a large Spanish holidays and tourism group, Globalia Corporación Empresarial S.A. In many ways a sort of Spanish TUI or Thomas Cook/Condor.
They have a mixed fleet of 15 A330 -12 of which are -200’s and 3 -300’s. 21 737-800’s are in service (and they’ve operated as many as 67 over the last 30 years), and they aslo have 7 ERJ-190’s. They’re one of the few airlines that ever operated the 737-600, having had 3 of them.
Now they have started to branch out into ultra-long haul with the 788, and are an active member of Skyteam.
Delivered in March 2016, and Fitted with 22 business class and 276 economy, using RR Trent 1000’s, she’s being used on routes such as Madrid, Santo Domingo, Bogata and Miami.
No issues with the mould or the general print and finish on this model, it’s quite remarkably standard, and with an uncomplicated livery there is little to go wrong. And yet, there seems to be something about it that isn’t quite up to the standards we saw on the Aeromexico, and ANA 787-9’s. This is distinctly more pedestrian.
It’s interesting that the aforementioned 789’s were built under the Phoenix 04 code and this is the standard numbering system.
There’s not a lot that’s remarkable about this aircraft. The “SCHOLAS” tiles are a quote from Pope Francis, that I think translates in essence as ‘schooling and education contribute towards peace’.
To be honest there are some of the same old issues that have down-graded these models in the past. Namely, badly fitted comms dome on the roof, not very well painted aerials, dust in the paint in places. It all feels quite second-rate compared to what we saw recently, and yet they were all made pretty much at the same time.
2.Wings and landing gear
The wings are OK, over-glossed, and both have an issue with the tips which seem to have bent slightly; how did that happen? The metal-like leading edges are very good and the are fitted well into the fuselage.
Landing gear is problem free and completely competent, with rolling wheels, though a few unsightly lumps on the tyres are apparent.
The rims are passable to the naked eye but on close up have a slightly odd finish to them. The inner chamber and fans are excellent and a realistic titanium colour, which is always welcome.
There is a little dust in the paint of the nacelles, but the Rolls Royce logo is clearly identifiable and well presented. Weirdly enough this has, correctly, blue exhaust cones! All RR engines have blue exhaust cones so why didn’t the ANA version?
No issues, the detail is clear and present with no deviations, entirely competent.
Completely issue free and again, entirely competent, though on very close inspection there’s an odd mottling in the blue tail paint. However it’s not visible to the naked eye at any point.
7. Score and conclusion
- -4 The satellite comms dome is not well fitted and looks a bit unsightly
- -4 dust in the paint, not a lot of it I’ll give you that but it shouldn’t be there and it notices when you touch it on the engines especially.
- -2 lumps in the tyres
- -6 for the bent wing tips, not at all good.
- 84% passable but not outstanding
That’s the best way to sum up this model. It’s entirely average. Above the sloppy commercial acceptability of Gemini’s low-end models like the A320, but below the staggeringly good ANA and AeroMexico 789’s that Phoenix made themselves.
The worst elements are the comms dome – that so needs to be permanently resolved as an issue, it’s gone on way to long. The wing tips – what happened? And those tyres, they just need a bit more effort to resolve them! Phoenix have shown they can do it with two exemplary models – now they have to apply those standards across the range, every time.
My recommendation: A cautious “buy”. I would be inclined to want to see close-ups if buying from eBay. From a retailer you’re legally entitled to send it back if you really aren’t happy.
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