The Egyptian cargo carrier has become the launching customer of Airbus A330 P2F converted aircraft by Dresden, Germany-based Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW). A breakthrough for this particular industrial project, says the MRO provider. At EFW they are convinced that numerous airlines will soon follow suit and jump on the bandwagon.
This entire A330 conversion project looks very promising, as market overviews show. It’s as simple as that: Currently, more than 1,100 Airbus variants A330-200 and -300 are in daily operation at
100-plus airlines worldwide. Another 1,300 of them stand in the order books of the European plane manufacturer. This is a large and constantly growing pool of aircraft MRO providers like EFW are
casting their eyes on and can capitalize from.
Clear address to the market
“The agreement just reached between Egyptair Cargo and our company to convert some of their A330 passenger aircraft to freighters is a very clear signal to the market,” emphasizes a pleased EFW head of communication, Christoper Profitlich. He adds that his management is in negotiations with other airlines, with some of these talks being in an already advanced stage, he confirms without revealing names of potential clients.
In the case of Egyptair Cargo it will take until 2018 when their first converted A330-200F will roll out of EFW’s hangar and be handed over to them. Quite some time to go from here. Why is that? Because many technical and organizational matters still have to be straightened out, like organizing the workflow the best and most efficient way within EFW’s Dresden hangar or standardizing the working sequences, for instance. So the contract is signed but physically the project is still in its infancy.
Modernizing the freighter fleet
Star Alliance member Egyptair has been a loyal customer to EFW since decades. On the cargo side they started operating their first P2F converted A300-B4 freighters in 1998, followed in 2005 by the next generation A300-600s. Now comes the next step by signing a firm contract for converting two of their A330-200s from P2F, including options for two more of this Airbus variant.
Once in operation, the A330Fs will replace Egyptair’s aging A300 freighters. How much the Arabian carrier will have to pay for the workload is not revealed by the partners. Unclear at this stage is also how many days it will take to get the conversion job done. In case of the A300 EFW calculates with 72 days on average, Christopher confirms.
The converted A330 freighters are part of Egyptair’s long-term strategy
Compared to the first generation of A300Fs the converted A330Fs offer 30 percent more payload, can fly farther due to their extended range, and emit far less greenhouse gases and noise. States Captain Basem of Egyptair Cargo: “These P2F converted aircraft are part of our long-term strategy and complement our investment in new cargo facilities at Cairo Airport.” He adds: “We intend to expand our home base Cairo to become a major hub for air freight.”
Egyptair Cargo speaks of a ‘milestone’
“The agreement reached with Egyptair Cargo for turning some of their passenger A330-200 aircraft into freighters is a milestone for us and a major step for our enterprise in this market segment,” stated EFW’s MD Andreas Sperl at the signing ceremony.
Up to now his enterprise has converted over 190 Airbus wide-body aircraft from P2F. Currently, some A300-600 passenger aircraft of a Chinese operator are standing in the EFW hangar at Dresden airport ready to start a second life as freighters.