It's been over 10 years since my last visit to Brazil and I am glad to try a new airline; Azul. I flew with their A350 from Paris to Sao Paulo.
Paris Orly Airport
Azul uses Orly Terminal 4. My flight leaves from Paris Orly in the evening hours. Check-in was swift. I noticed they're selling upgrade at check-in for about 735 Euros.
Azul use the Prime Class lounge in Orly after immigration. It has an outdoor balcony which provides some good plane-spotting opportunities. The lounge has some basic food on offer.
The Azul A350
Azul has only acquired 2 ex Hong Kong Airlines (HNA Group) A350-900s in September 2022, but the high operating cost of the model, according to online media reporting, is only profitable on routes of equal or greater duration from Sao Paulo Campinas – Paris, when compared to the A330-900neo. There is news that Azul will retire the A350 in early 2024.
Azul A350 is also one of the rarest A350 to catch as it only flies at night between Sao Paulo and Paris. I caught pictures of the Azul A350 later at Sao Paulo Campinas Azul maintenance facility.
Cabin of Azul A350
Azul A350 came in three zones, Business Class in the forward cabin with staggered 1-2-1 seating. Total 33 seats in Business Class.
In Economy, the immediate section with white leather seats has extra space (103 seats) followed by standard economy in blue covers (198 seats). Total 301 seats in Economy.
Welcome drinks, nuts, menu and amenity kit were handed out before takeoff.
The Brazilian cockpit crew explained the flight route, flight time, and flight level (40,000 ft). We took off with 250 passengers and 245 tons of weight.
Flight time from Paris to Sao Paulo took about 10 hours and 40 minutes. We took off on-time and landed at 4am in Sao Paulo Campinas.
The meal tasted fine and was paired with Italian white wine.
After dinner, the light was dimmed quickly for rest. I slept about 6 hours and woke up over the coastal city of Fortaleza as we entered Brazil.
During the flight, I took some pictures with the cabin crew and cockpit on the ground in Sao Paulo. The brand Azul was little known outside of Brazil. I didn't know what to expect onboard Azul as I thought it was not a full-service airline. I found the Azul service to be decent with reasonable products and definitely not worse than their competitors.
After landing, I traveled by car to São Paulo Congonhas Airport in the city to fly on the Cessna Grand Caravan to Rio. It was a fun and scenic flight. Leaving the massive São Paulo city, it didn’t take long for the green rural scenery to appear and it gets better by the minute. We flew around the coastline towards Rio at 9,000 ft, cruising around 145 knots. The flight took about 1 hour and 20 minutes, and the distinctive landscape of Rio de Janeiro appeared. Watch my video below to see the amazing landscape.