MIAMI — Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW), an EADS business unit specialized in aircraft conversions and modifications, has received the first Airbus A330 to undergo freighter conversion under its newly launched A330 passenger-to-freighter (A330P2F) program.
The jetliner is an Airbus A330-322 (MSN 116), delivered to Malaysia Airlines in 1995, and which after a 17-year-old career with the carrier, it was withdrawn from use and stored in late 2012.
According to EFW, the A330P2F contemplates the conversion of both Airbus A330 variants: the A330-200P2F, suitable for express freight carrier operations given its high-volume payload capabilities with lower-density cargo, and the larger A330-300P2F, devised for those operators in need of higher-density freight and longer range performance characteristics.
In December 2014, EFW secured its first A330P2F order from Egyptair Cargo, a sister division of Egyptair, for the conversion of two A330-200s plus two options. These converted freighters will replace the carrier’s aging A300Fs, currently in service with the airline since 1998, and with a fleet age average exceeding 25 years.
To date, EFW has converted more than 170 freighter aircraft for 39 customers, and its portfolio also includes P2F programs for the Airbus A300 and A310.
Although Airbus currently produces the A330-200F, EFW assures that the global market forecast, estimated in approximately 2,700 freighters for the next two decades, will require both programs, as about half of such demand will correspond to the mid-sized segment in which the A330 fits.
EFW will start first with the cargo conversion of the A330-300, which is expected to see entry into service in 2017. The A330-200 P2F conversion will follow suit, with initial deliveries to its launch customer in 2018.