On 3 August, EgyptAir Cargo took redelivery of the first A330-200 passenger-to-freighter converted aircraft from EFW, the MRO and conversion joint venture of ST Aerospace Engineering and Airbus.
EgyptAir initially signed on as EFW’s launch customer with an order for two of the converted freighters in late 2014 and has since confirmed an order for a third, and an option for a fourth. The first aircraft (600) was inducted for conversion in April 2017, and completed conversion in 2Q18. EFW then received supplemental type certification (STC) for the -200P2F conversion from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) last month.
Alongside its -200P2F program, EFW also certified and redelivered the first freighter-converted A330-300F to that program’s launch customer, DHL, late last year. While DHL and EgyptAir both have more upcoming deliveries of their respective conversion orders scheduled, orders from additional parties have yet to materialize. At the same time, several airlines that at one point operated the A330-200 production freighter (including Etihad Cargo, Qatar Airways and MASkargo) have changed strategies to move away from the use of A330Fs, leaving some doubt over the viability of the freighter outside of specific niches.
Still, the conversion programs are in early stages, and comments made during this earnings season indicate that the A330F may yet make its way into more regular operations. Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings’ CEO, Bill Flynn, said last week during the company’s second-quarter earnings call that the conversion programs offer “a growing opportunity and a good opportunity” for the air cargo industry, particularly given the ready availability of passenger aircraft available for conversion.
Those interested in learning more about developments in freighter conversions are invited to join us at Cargo Facts Symposium 2018, to be held 10-12 October at the Omni San Diego. For more information, or to register, visit https://www.cargofactssymposium.com/