Our "Tuukkaq" is on its way home

Tuesday 6 December, the aircraft manufacturer, Airbus, delivered the new A330-neo to Air Greenland during a ceremony in Toulouse, France. Wednesday, Tuukkaq took off on its maiden voyage home to Greenland.

A delegation from Greenland attended the festive event, where representatives from Airbus and Rolls-Royce delivered the Tuukkaq to Air Greenland's Board Chairwoman, Bodil Marie Damgaard, CEO Jacob Nitter Sørensen and Premier of the Government of Greenland, Múte B. Egede.

Bodil Marie Damgaard thanked Airbus and Rolls Royce and mentioned the importance of Air Greenland for Greenland's infrastructure.


- Now a new chapter begins for Air Greenland. The investment in Tuukkaq is an important step to prepare us for increased competition. We are facing a new reality with new gateways to Greenland with the new runways. Air Greenland is ready to continue connecting the country - also to and from Greenland. Therefore, today is an important milestone, said Air Greenland's Chairman of the Board, Bodil Marie Damgaard, addressing the employees who have worked hard to get Tuukkaq ready for the handover.


- Everyone has a relation to us, the national airline and the red planes, to some extent, when they stand in the gate at the airport. The anticipation is often high when you are either on your way home or out in the world. I sense this anticipation in everyone who has been on this journey of bringing Tuukkaq to the country, and I look forward to it becoming operational.

- Timmisartorsuartaaqaagut! "Finally we have a new, big aircraft" she said in one word, in Greenlandic, and congratulated Air Greenland on Tuukkaq.

She also made a point of telling about the important decision she and the Board made three years ago when they decided to invest in a new Atlantic aircraft. The aircraft had to meet the requirements of being safe, efficient and, not least, sustainable.


The management of Air Greenland selected the most sought-after long-haul aircraft, the Airbus 330-800 series, which with Rolls-Royce, Trent 7000 engines, from which the word "neo" comes in the name, A330neo. 


- The engines reduce fuel consumption and therefore CO2 emissions, which is what we have been aiming for. But we don't stop there. The type of engine, neo, (new engine option) can use biofuel. We are committed to blending 5% SAF, sustainable aviation fuel, on all Tuukkaq flights. This will reduce our CO2 emissions even further to 25% per seat. Sustainability is something we will live up to even it is clear in the airline's vision. In doing so, we support the goal of Greenland becoming a sustainable destination. I am proud that Air Greenland is one of the first airlines in Europe to take the green transition in the aviation industry seriously, explained Air Greenland's CEO, Jacob Nitter Sørensen, among other things, why the choice of aircraft fell on the A330neo.

Air Greenland's owner, the Government of Greenland was also represented during the handover of the aircraft. The Premier of Naalakkersuisut, the Government of Greenland, Mr. Múte B. Egede began his speech by stating that the delivery of the aircraft today is a historic day for Greenland and the expectations of the investment.


- This is Air Greenland's biggest investment ever - an important and necessary investment and a perfect timing ahead of the opening of the new international airports in Nuuk and Ilulissat, said Múte B. Egede and continued:


- The investment will contribute to the development of Greenland in a positive way. With the Tuukkaq aircraft as an addition to Air Greenland's fleet, the aircraft will contribute to growth and development.


In conclusion, he thanked all those involved in the work to get the Tuukkaq delivered.


- I want to extend my gratitude to everyone who has been involved in this process. From the initial creation of the idea, to where we stand today – with a beautiful and mod-ern aircraft, even more, an environmentally friendly aircraft. The Tuukkaq leads the way to a greener investment – but it is also a good investment for the next generation.

Beautiful gifts


Air Greenland's CEO presented two identical gifts to Airbus and Rolls-Royce to thank them for the delivery. The gift is a handmade miniature of a qajaq.


- The qajaq was invented and developed by the Inuit around five thousand years ago and was the main vessel for survival, hunting and transporting people. The Qajaq has been developed generation after generation, said Jacob Nitter Sørensen and continued:


- I also think the qajaq is a good allegory for what Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Air Greenland have in common. Companies that have developed and improved their products generation after generation - just as the Inuit have developed and improved the qajaq generation after generation. We have a similar mindset in our three companies. We constantly adapt and innovate to changing circumstances and conditions. Tuukkaq is a perfect example of the adaptation that has brought us to this point, and I have no doubt that we will continue to ensure the development of all three companies," concluded Jacob Nitter Sørensen.


Air Greenland received a statue of a harpoon tip, Tuukkaq, from the aircraft's manufacturer, Airbus.


When Tuukkaq takes off tomorrow, Wednesday 7 December, from Toulouse for Kangerlussuaq, the maiden flight will be powered by a 30% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) blend, demonstrating Air Greenland's commitment to building a sustainable operation. The aircraft's Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engine, which recently reached one million flight hours, is already certified to run on a 50% blend of SAF.


On the maiden voyage, a delegation from Greenland and representatives from Airbus and Rolls-Royce will be on board. In addition to the Premier of Government of Greenland, Minister of Infrastructure, the President of the Parliament, Inatsisartut, and Chair of the Committee on Infrastructure, , business partners, employees and citizens found through a lottery, as well as representatives from various media will participate.


Follow along as Tuukkaq lands in Kangerlussuaq at 13.00, after which the first of Tuukkaq's many landings will be celebrated in Air Greenland's hangar with a coffee reception for the local population.