Aircalin (SB, Nouméa La Tontouta) has grounded one of its new A330-900s, not because of any mechanical failure, but because of unpleasant smell which occurs during ascent or descent, according to report from The Nouvelles Caledoniennes newspaper.

The aircraft in question, F-ONET (msn 1938) which was delivered on October 1 has not flown since October 29, when it arrived back in Nouméa La Tontouta from Sydney Kingsford Smith on flight SB141, according to flight data from Flightradar24.

It is now undergoing a thorough inspection following reports from crew and passengers of a smell of oil, who also complained of headaches and irritated eyes. Engineers from Airbus and Rolls-Royce are working with the carrier to identify and resolve the problem.

Fortunately, the airline is covering its schedule gaps by utilising its two A320-200s and by reactivating previously retired A330-200 F-OJSE (msn 510).

This is not the first time an A330-900 has caused a stink, with TAP Air Portugal (TP, Lisbon) suffering from a similar problem earlier this year with its fleet of the type.