At the Singapore Airshow today, Airbus, Singapore Technologies Aerospace, and EADS EFW made a joint announcement launching a passenger-to-freighter conversion program for the Airbus A330 aircraft family, including both the -200 and -300 variants. More accurately the three said they had “signed an MoU for a strategic partnership to develop the A330 Passenger-to-Freighter (P2F) conversion program,” and that the agreement granted authorization to offer the program. But they included a footnote saying that “‘Authorization to offer’ enables the marketing of products and services to potential customers. The finalization of contracts is subject to program launch. The program launch depends on finalization of the definitive agreements.”
In other words, Airbus, ST Aero, and EFW will start work on the program, but formal launch must await the signup of a launch customer. As we posted two days ago, Qatar Airways was in many ways the driving force behind the decision to offer an A330 in the first place, so we would not be surprised to hear another announcement this week, for an official Qatar launch order.
The details, as far as they are known, are as follows:
- ST Aero will lead the A330 P-to-F engineering development
- EFW will perform most of the conversions at its Dresden facility
- EFW will become the European centre for ST Aerospace’s global maintenance, repair and overhaul operations
- Conversions will be offered for both the A330-200 and A330-300.
Cargo Facts believes, but has not been able to confirm, that Qatar Airways will be the launch customer, and will supply one of it’s A330-200s as the conformity aircraft. We shall see… And we shall also see what, if any, impact the conversion program launch has on the Airbus A330-200F production freighter program.