Aircalin (SB, Nouméa La Tontouta) has temporarily withdrawn one A330-900 from service and ferried it back to Toulouse Blagnac for checks due to a strong oil smell in the cabin, AFP has reported.

F-ONET (msn 1938), an aircraft delivered to Aircalin in early October 2019, was withdrawn from revenue flights on October 29, 2019, after operating from Sydney Kingsford Smith to Nouméa La Tontouta, Flightradar24 ADS-B data shows. After operating a pair of test flights around Nouméa, it was subsequently flown via Osaka Kansai to Toulouse over the course of November 16-18, 2019.

Airbus and Rolls-Royce mechanics were reportedly not able to solve the problem in New Caledonia, prompting the need to ferry the aircraft back to Toulouse.

Aircalin continues to operate the other of its two A330-900s, F-ONEO (msn 1937).

The New Caledonian flag carrier reactivated its only remaining A330-200, F-OJSE (msn 510) to cover for the absence of one -900. Chief Commercial Officer William Le Grand recently told ch-aviation that the airline retained the -200 in case the -900s would experience teething issues.

Similar problems were experienced by TAP Air Portugal (TP, Lisbon) on some of its sixteen A330-900s earlier this year.