Major orders are flooding in to aircraft converter, Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW), these days. The latest customer is Seattle-based lessor, Altavair, for whom Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW) will convert ten A330-300 passenger jets into freighter aircraft. Just days before, Irish asset manager, AerCap Holdings N.V. (AerCap), commissioned EFW to convert 15 passenger Airbus A321 to freighters, complemented by an option for another 15 A321P2F conversions. (CargoForwarder reported)
As for the Altavair order, their 10 jetliners will be leased by Amazon Air to fly under the PrimeAir callsign and transport the e-tailer’s packages. However, the official operator will be
Hawaiian Airlines, which is very familiar with this Airbus variant. After all, A330s have made up Hawaiian’s fleet since 2010, already.
Currently, Amazon Air’s fleet consists of 97 freighters. With the exception of five ATR 72-500F, they are all Boeing-produced or Boeing P2F-converted. Hence, the A330s will be the first Airbus aircraft to fly on behalf of Amazon. This was emphasized by Philippe Karam, Director Amazon Global Air Fleet and Sourcing, upon announcing the conversion deal: “These A330-300s will not only be the first of their kind in our fleet, they’ll also be the newest, largest aircraft for Amazon Air, allowing us to deliver more customer packages with each flight.”
According to Airbus, the jetliner can accommodate up to 62 tons of cargo per flight, making it Amazon’s new workhorse in terms of capacity. In comparison, the carrier’s 54 B767-300 converted freighters fall short by 10 tons, and the smaller model B767-200P2F is limited to uplifting a maximum of 42 tons.
First delivery in late 2023
The additional capacity offered by the A330F variant measured on the B767Fs increases the economy of the aircraft, because it lowers the transport price of each flown package.
Amazon Air says that the first of their upcoming A330-300P2F aircraft is expected to join the fleet in late 2023. This is quite a short time, given the full order books not only of EFW, but also other aircraft converters.
“The endorsement of our freighters by Amazon, speaks volumes about the market value of the A330 and the position Airbus wide-bodies are gaining in the cargo market,” said Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Airbus International. The Airbus official went on to say: “Amazon has built a reputation around delivering their goods to our doorsteps with extraordinary speed and consistency, and we’re very proud that our aircraft are trusted to become a key link in that remarkable logistics chain.”
The planemaker stresses that both the A330-200 and the A330-300 variants are eligible for conversion. For integrators and express carriers, however, the longer-fuselage A330-300P2F is particularly suited due to its high volumetric payload capability with lower-density cargo.
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