Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW) has redelivered the third freighter-converted A330-300F (231, ex-Thai Airways) to DHL Express [FAT 005124]. Following the redelivery, the express carrier has five more A330-300P2Fs on firm order, and options for ten more.
After having conducted two test flights on Aug. 27 and Sept. 2, the aircraft flew from Dresden (DRS) to Malta (MLA), where it will be painted into the DHL livery by Aviation Cosmetics Malta. This is expected to take not more than two weeks. Unit 231 was originally delivered to Thai in passenger configuration in September 1998. It was withdrawn from service in June 2017 and was ferried to EFW’s facility in DRS in August 2017.
A fourth A330-300 (777, ex-China Eastern) arrived in DRS in June 2019 and will be redelivered in 2020. EFW redelivered the first A330-300P2F (116, ex-Malaysia Airlines) to DHL in 2017 and the second (127, ex-Hi Fly) in 2018. It is currently unclear what DHL’s plans for unit 231 are and where it will place the aircraft. If it follows the example of the first two A330-300P2Fs, it could enter service with Air Hong Kong, operated by ASL Airlines Ireland.
However, we note that Air Hong Kong previously told Cargo Facts that it was in the process of transferring at least two ASL-operated A330Fs to its own AOC. The first one will be unit 116, which has been in maintenance in Singapore (QPG) since May 2019 and had been expected to join the Air Hong Kong fleet by the end of August. The second is a production A330-200F (1414), one of five DHL Express picked up from Abu-Dhabi based Etihad.
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