Eurowings employs military transport plane to carry passengers
The passengers that took a flight from Cologne to Punta Cana with Eurowings in early February 2018 were in for a surprise. The plane did not sport the blue and purple livery of the German airline but was in fact completely white. It was also fitted for only one class, not in accordance with tickets sold.
The Airbus A330-243 identified G-VYGL that was used for the flight is in fact operated by AirTanker. Its usual mission: transporting soldiers.
The airplane that was wet-leased to Eurowings, is usually employed by the Royal British Air Force to transport soldiers from one theater of war to another or to maintain the air bridge between the United Kingdom and Ascension Island in the disputed Falklands. The use of AirTanker fleet, currently composed of 14 planes, answers primary to the needs of the Royal Air Force and the British Ministry of Defense.
This type of aircraft are fitted for military transport and do not answer to the expectations of a civilian transport, especially for a long-haul flight of about nine hours. Several passengers complained about the lack of comfort during the flight. Some of them were sold business-class tickets while there is only one class on the plane.
Eurowings is expected to achieve a record growth in 2018, with 30 planes added to its fleet and 70 000 more flights scheduled through the year. However, it seems that for now the German low-cost subsidiary of Lufthansa has problems meeting the needs of its customer. While the leasing contract with AirTanker was expected to end in March 2018, it might be renewed at least until the end of the month.