The Turkish freight carrier has placed an order to convert two A330-300 passenger aircraft into freighters. By growing its current Airbus fleet of four converted A300-600RF and one factory-produced A330-200F, the Istanbul-headquartered airline adds further capacity to the cargo market and enlarges its reach.
Both aircraft, produced 2008 at the Airbus plant in Toulouse, France, belonged to the fleet of China Airlines, which has now sold them to MNG. Following its cargo conversion, the first of the two A330s will be handed over to its new owner at the end of November, while the second jetliner will join MNG’s freighter fleet in June or July of 2022, MNG Managing Director, Sedat Ozkazanc tells CargoForwarder Global.
EFW appreciates additional work package
In both cases, the conversion will be carried out by Dresden, Germany-based Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW), a joint venture of Singaporean ST Engineering and airframer Airbus. Currently, Istanbul-headquartered MNG operates an all-Airbus fleet of 4 converted A300-600RF and one factory-produced A330-200F.
According to MNG, the A330-300P2F provides about 23% more volume than its closest competitor, B767-300ER. Depending on the weight variants, the conversion freighter can offer a gross payload of up to 63 tons per flight and has a range of roughly 3600 nm (6,600 km). Thanks to its comparably higher volumetric capacity, the A330P2F will provide additional commercial options for consignments to be booked on short and medium haul routes. In a nutshell: “the aircraft will create better economics for our customers,” airline chief, Mr. Ozkazanc, emphasizes.
Good news for agent Skyline and CGN
For EFW, which is currently not suffering from a lack of work, the order is nevertheless a confirmation of its strong market position in the conversion of Airbus pax aircraft into freighters. “We are excited to welcome MNG Airlines as a new A330P2F program customer,” says Andreas Sperl, CEO of EFW. “We look forward to a good working relationship with MNG Airlines, and to strongly supporting it to meet the growing international and regional air freight demand.”
The fleet decision is also good news for MNG Airlines’ customers, its European general sales agent Skyline Air Services, and not least Cologne-Bonn Airport, the carrier’s main European hub connected daily with Istanbul. “We congratulate MNG on its decision to convert two A330-300 passenger aircraft into freighters,” Torsten Wefers, Director Cargo at CGN, applauds. He goes on to say: “The step is a positive signal to the market as MNG ups its capacity, this way serving the industry on an even higher level once the two freighters are airborne.”
MNG kicked off its CGN services 16 years ago. Ever since, it has successively scaled up its commitment, making Cologne-Bonn its prime EU hub, and hence becoming one of its most loyal customers. “Thanks to the upcoming fleet growth, the Turkish freight airline can expand its reach and penetrate additional cargo markets. This is a very encouraging signal not only for shippers and forwarders, but also for our airport, because it enables us to cement our role as key MNG hub in Europe,” Mr. Wefers comments.
MNG Airlines began its activities in 1996, serving markets in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Depending on customers’ needs, the carrier can transport all kinds of cargo, from special products and express shipments to heavy and voluminous standard freight. It also offers charter options to the market and provides feeder services on behalf of integrator UPS on the sector Cologne-Istanbul-Cologne.
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