Aircalin, a carrier based in Noumea, in the French territory of New Caledonia, has stopped operating one of its two Airbus A330neos after reporting repeated odor issues in the cabin.

The aircraft landed Nov. 18 at Toulouse airport, according to tracking website flightradar24. There, Airbus is performing “more exhaustive inspections,” an Aircalin spokesperson said. The troubleshooting process had started in Noumea.

For long-haul flights, the airline relies on its second A330-900, which is still being operated.

A classic A330-200, which was to be phased out, has been kept in use, according to local TV La 1ere. They fly to destinations including Australia, Japan and French Polynesia.

TAP Air Portugal, which took delivery of its first A330neo in November 2018, experienced similar issues. Cabin crews complained about malaise on the A330neo type. TAP said it has taken the action Airbus recommended.

The subject is now “outdated,” a TAP spokesperson said, as such reporting has “dropped dramatically in recent months and is now close to zero.”

Air Senegal, understood to face the same problem, did not reply to repeated requests for comment.

 “We are working to resolve the cabin odor issue that has occurred on a limited number of in-service A330neos,” an Airbus spokesperson said. The manufacturer has yet to find the root cause and a final solution.

“Measurements ... show that cabin air quality remains within a normal range and within international guidelines,” the Airbus spokesperson added. “Odor does not necessarily mean high concentration of contaminants.”

In its report, La 1ere suggested the crew could smell oil and Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines are suspect. “We have conducted detailed research and testing ... and there is no conclusive evidence that they have played a role in any reported issues around cabin air quality on the A330neo,” a Rolls-Royce spokesperson said.

Thierry Dubois, thierry.dubois@aviationweek.com