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34th Anniversary of Air Europa’s First Transatlantic Flight

Air Europa Boeing B757 ETOPS

Air Europa’s EC-ELA, the Boeing 757 that completed the first ETOPS flight of a Spanish airline in history (Archive)

On November 30, 1988, Air Europa performed its first transatlantic service in a twin-engine aircraft. It is 34 years since this operation marked an important milestone in being the first Spanish airline to perform an ETOPS flight.

The ETOPS (Extended-range Twin-engine Operations Performance Standards) regulation was issued in 1985 and gathered the necessary requirements that had to be met at that time to be suitable for the operation of twin-engine aircraft in transoceanic flights and/or remote areas (poles, jungles, deserts).

Three years after the issuance of this standard, Air Europa worked hard with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC) in Spain and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to obtain the ETOPS certificate to make its first transatlantic flight on a service between Madrid (MAD) and New York (JFK) in a Boeing 757-200 aircraft.

In addition, Air Europa became one of the first airlines in the world to operate flights between the Old Continent and North America in twin-engine narrow-body aircraft and demonstrated not only the 757’s long-haul capabilities, but also the company’s work to obtain the certificate and ensure operational safety.

Air Europa continues to operate between Madrid (MAD) and New York (JFK) with five weekly flights on Boeing 787 Dreamliner and for the 2023 summer season, United Airlines will offer several transatlantic services from Newark (EWR) to Malaga (AGP) and Tenerife – South (TFS) on Boeing 757-200s, demonstrating the vital role of this aircraft in the market between the United States and Europe.

This article was originally published by Rainer Nieves Dolande on Aviacionline in syndication with AirlineGeeks


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