EFW, the MRO and conversion joint venture of ST Aerospace and Airbus, received supplemental type certification (STC) from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for its A330-200 passenger-to-freighter conversion program and expects to redeliver the first aircraft to launch customer EgyptAir next month.
EgyptAir signed on as the launch customer for the conversion program in 2014 when it placed an order for two conversions. The first aircraft in the order (600) entered conversion in April of last year and, following STC certification, is now ready for redelivery. EgyptAir has three total A330-200 conversions on order with EFW.
EFW also received its STC from EASA for its A330-300P2F conversion program late last year and has since redelivered the first of eight converted A330-300Fs on order with launch customer DHL Express. DHL Express also has options for ten more conversions.
Since EFW secured launch customers for the respective programs, however, orders for the conversions have been scarce. Additionally, some airlines have parked the production A330 freighters already in their fleets, or chosen not to renew leases. While it’s clear that the A330-200 production freighter has not carved out more than a niche role in global networks to-date, some markets – particularly Asia, where the A330-300 converted freighter is scheduled to operate in DHL Express’ network and where Sichuan Airlines was confirmed to be considering adding A330-200 production freighters – are worth watching for more developments as the converted freighters ramp up operations.