Turkey-based MNG Airlines has signed a deal with Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW) to convert a pair of A330-300s into freighters, adding a new name to the list of A330 conversion customers [FATs 006101-6102].
The first aircraft has just been inducted for conversion. The cargo carrier recently acquired the 2007-vintage A330 (879, ex-China Southern Airlines), equipped with Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines, and ferried it from Istanbul (ISL) to Dresden (DRS) on March 30.
MNG’s second A330-300 will begin conversion in 2022, according to EFW. The airline could not immediately be reached for comment.
Although MNG had previously been a customer for Airbus’ A330-200F production freighter program, its fleet plans have gravitated towards freighter-converted A330s instead. The carrier had ordered four of the type, but only ever took delivery of one aircraft (1332). In January, the order disappeared from Airbus’ order book.
MNG has four A300-600Fs in active service, while wholly owned subsidiary Solinair, based in Slovenia, operates two A300-600Fs. MNG told Cargo Facts in 2019 that it was considering A330 conversions to replace the older A300s.
Excluding unit 879, there are currently three other A330s at EFW’s facility, all of them Trent-powered -300s under sixteen years old: unit 1104 (ex-Hong Kong Airlines), which has been at DRS since July 2020 and is for DHL Express; unit 713 (ex-Air Asia X), which arrived last July and is expected to be redelivered to Stratos around April 2021; and unit 1477 (ex-Hi Fly), another DHL frame that is the youngest to undergo conversion to date.
The next couple of months will see two new arrivals, with lessor CDB Aviation inducting a pair of ex-China Southern A330-300s (958 and 964) around mid-2021. Meanwhile, Turkmenistan Airlines announced an order for two A330-200P2F conversions in January, with redeliveries in 2022.
Since EFW launched the A330P2F program in 2012, it has so far completed and redelivered nine A330 conversions, the majority of them -300P2Fs to launch customer DHL Express.
Here is a summary of the program, as of April 1.
|Customer||MSN||Model||Year of manufacture||Engines||Redelivery|
|DHL Express||116||-300||1995||P&W||December 2017|
|DHL Express||127||-300||1995||P&W||March 2018|
|DHL Express||231||-300||1998||P&W||September 2019|
|DHL Express||777||-300||2006||RR||May 2020|
|DHL Express||781||-300||2006||RR||August 2020|
|DHL Express||1124||-300||2010||RR||December 2020|
|CDB Aviation||958||-300||2008||RR||Early 2022|
|CDB Aviation||964||-300||2008||RR||Early 2022|
ULS Airlines Cargo, another Turkish cargo operator, previously said it was looking to convert two A330-300s, the first of which (349, ex-Sunclass Airlines) the airline acquired in February. ULS currently operates a trio of A310-300Fs on an ACMI basis for Turkish Airlines.
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