France-based Airbus SAS has finalised an agreement with ST Aerospace and EADS EFW to establish collaboration for the launch of the A330 Passenger-to-Freighter (P2F) conversion programme.
This follows the MoU announced at the Singapore airshow in February this year setting out the project's foundation and granting "Authorisation to Offer" for the A330P2F.
ST Aerospace leads the A330P2F engineering development work in collaboration with Airbus and EADS EFW, while EADS EFW will lead the industrial phase and undertake marketing and sales activities, supported by Airbus. Most of the conversions will take place at EADS EFW facilities in Dresden, Germany, with the potential for additional capacity at ST Aerospace.
"The strong demand from airlines for a programme to convert used A330s from passenger configuration into an attractive freighter is clear," Tom Williams, EVP of Programmes at Airbus said in a statement. "Together with ST Aerospace and our sister company EADS EFW we have the perfect partnership to bring efficiency, reliability and profitability to our operators."
The A330P2F programme includes two versions; the A330-200P2F and the larger A330-300P2F. Of the two models, the larger A330-300P2F will be particularly suitable for integrators and express carriers thanks to its high volumetric payload capability with lower-density cargo. Meanwhile, the A330-200P2F will be optimised for higher-density freight and longer range performance. Entry-into-service of the first A330P2F is targeted for 2016.
As well as complementing the factory-built A330-200F in service today, the A330P2F freighter conversion programme will also enhance and sustain A330 Family residual values by extending the economic lives of A330 airframes.
Approximately 2,700 freighters will be required over the next 20 years, and around half of these will be in the mid-sized freighter segment, including 900 conversions. Addressing this requirement, both the A330-200P2F and the A330-300P2F facilitate the change to environmentally-friendly, new-technology converted freighters, while recognising the operators' focus on capital cost.