Turkey-based ULS Airlines Cargo has purchased its first A330-300 that it will eventually send to Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW) to be converted into a freighter.
The carrier told Cargo Facts that the aircraft (349, ex-Sunclass Airlines) will fly to Istanbul shortly, and that it intends to offer the A330 for passenger charters ahead of an available conversion slot. ULS said it is in discussions with EFW but may not be able to secure a slot until 2022.
The 2000-vintage, Rolls-Royce-powered A330-300 has been parked in Copenhagen (CPH) since last March.
ULS also said another acquisition is “on the table”; it is unclear at this point whether this will be one of the two other A330-300s previously in service with the Denmark-based Sunclass (356 and 357).
ULS had told Cargo Facts around the beginning of the pandemic last year that it was looking at starting passenger operations with A330-200s, but the -300’s volume makes it “a great aircraft” for cargo, especially e-commerce.
The carrier, which currently operates three A310-300Fs on an ACMI basis for Turkish Airlines, confirmed that it plans to also add freighter-converted A321-200Fs to focus on the e-commerce market.
Other customers with firm A330 conversion orders remaining with EFW include DHL Express, Stratos, CDB Aviation and Turkmenistan Airlines.
Another Turkish cargo carrier, MNG Airlines, cancelled its production A330-200F orders with Airbus last December, and had previously also expressed an interest in A330 conversions.
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