Air Greenland (GL, Nuuk) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Airbus (AIB, Toulouse Blagnac) for one A330-800 delivery of which is scheduled for the final quarter of 2021.

The Greenlandic government-owned carrier said in a statement the aircraft will replace its existing A330-200 and will fly primarily between the upcoming new international airports in Nuuk and Ilulissat, both of which are due to open in 2023, and Copenhagen Kastrup in Denmark. CEO Jacob Nitter Sørensen later explained the choice of the -800 over its larger, more Rubenesque sister, the A330-900.

"The -900 would be payload restricted from the new 2,199 metre-long runways in Nuuk and Ilulissat, whereas the -800 will be unrestricted under most conditions," he said.

Aside from improved efficiencies, the A330-800 will offer Air Greenland increased passenger and freight carrying capacity to and from Greenland.

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, Air Greenland's current A330-200 - OY-GRN (msn 230) - is a company-owned, ex-Sabena airframe that is 21.4 years old. It seats 30 in business class and 248 in economy and, as of September 30, 2019, had amassed 51,377 flying hours via 11,396 cycles.

It currently plies a singled scheduled return route, Kangerlussuaq-Copenhagen.