Dresden based Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW) are confident about the future of converted Airbus A330 passenger aircraft and are pushing ahead with their programme to acquire both the -200 and -300 variants, in order to convert and sell or lease them to freighter operators.
First A330-300P2f takes to the skies
Flight testing of a converted ex Malaysian Airlines A3330-300 (see also ‘A330 freighter for ASL Ireland’ in today’s SHORT SHOTS) has been successful and the first -300 version of the Airbus type willis expected to go into service soon
EFW which is a joint venture of ST Aerospace and Airbus, with ST Aerospace holding 55% and Airbus 45%, took the decision to launch the A330 programme back in 2012.
It was a slow start, but gained momentum when Egyptair gave an order in 2014 for an Airbus A330-200 conversion for two aircraft. The -300P2F programme kicked off when DHL Express (we reported) signed up for a total of four aircraft at the Dresden facility. This gave the whole idea a much needed boost and put the A330 converted freighter on the map.
More to come?
EFW needs to gain more business in order to keep their conversion line open during the coming years.
Egyptair, which supplied the necessary aircraft from their own passenger fleet are expected to run their first freighter conversion on international routes.
DHL it seems is set on using the A330-300P2F on a large scale in the future. probably as a long term replacement for the aging B757Fs they have in service and which offer far less payload than the A330P2F. DHL Express in the meantime has placed an order with EFW for a further four units and has taken options on ten more aircraft.
The above is a welcome boost for the EFW A330P2F program and will hopefully result for them in other carriers becoming interested in the type.
John Mc Donagh