Across several flights, both passengers and crew members on TAP Air Portugal have complained the A330neo is making them nauseous and even inducing vomiting. Is there something wrong with the new A330neo?
Airbus and TAP Air Portugal are quick to say no. Crew members and some passengers are saying, not so fast. Here’s what we know.
- Several crew members have been reported becoming nauseas during flight aboard the A330
- 12 reports were filed
- Passenger complaints have also been noted by crew members, including vomiting after complaining of dizziness
- This prompted TAP union members to visit Airbus HQ in late May to voice their concerns
- Airbus responded by performing a month-long investigation on the new aircraft type
- Upon completion of the tests, Airbus reported no irregularities or abnormalities
- TAP (statement below) argues that this issue is likely related to air circulation but are a normal occurrence on new aircraft
- TAP and Airbus suggest the issue is onboard temperature, not air circulation
- The National Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) are aware of the issue and monitoring.
If there is an issue, it certainly seems tied to the air circulation system.
TAP told Lusa, a Portuguese news agency:
In some new units of the A330neo, some odors from air-conditioning equipment may have been detected, it is considered normal in new aircraft and disappears soon after first use. [TAP] would never put its customers and workers at risk for their health.
While acknowledging that it had received complaints, TAP insisted that the issue was not serious:
The tests already carried out by both TAP and Airbus do not allow any correlation between these episodes and a hypothetical but not demonstrated deficiency in circulation and air renewal…
The A330neo is an airplane with all the certifications by the national and international authorities and totally apt for the service of transport of passengers in total safety…the cabins of Airbus are designed and manufactured in order to prevent any type of air contamination.
Mark this story as developing. Just because an issue makes headlines does not mean it is salient. Still, the month-long investigation in Toulouse indicates this an issue that both TAP and Airbus take seriously.
Have you experienced any nausea while flying the A330neo?
image: airbus777 / Flickr