DHL Express has become the first operator to take delivery of the A330-300 Passenger-to-Freighter (P2F) converted aircraft from Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW), the joint venture between ST Aerospace and Airbus. This delivery, which took place at EFW’s freighter conversion facilities in Dresden, Germany follows the successful completion of test flights in October and awarding of the Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in November. DHL Express has firm orders for eight A330-300P2F units in total, with additional options to receive another 10.
“DHL Express is very excited to be bringing the first A330-300P2F into commercial operation within our international air network,” said Geoff Kehr, SVP, Global Air Fleet Management, DHL Express. “The first aircraft is scheduled to strengthen our Asia Pacific air network, bringing added capacity and increased efficiency to a market where we are seeing dynamic express volume growth.”
The A330P2F conversion programme, launched in 2012, is a collaboration between ST Aerospace, Airbus and their joint venture EFW. ST Aerospace, as the programme and technical lead for the engineering development phase, is responsible for applying for the STCs from EASA and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Airbus contributes to the programme with OEM data and certification support, while EFW leads the industrialisation phase and marketing for the freighter conversion programme.
The A330P2F programme has two variants – the A330-200P2F and the larger A330-300P2F. The latter is ideal for serving the international express B2B and e-commerce cargo markets, which typically have a higher volume and lower density. The aircraft can carry up to 62 metric tonnes over 3,650 nautical miles, while offering 20 per cent more cargo volume and lower cost-per-tonne than other available freighter aircraft types with a similar range.
Andreas Sperl, CEO of EFW said: “I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the trust DHL Express placed in us. This was a great motivation and we are very proud that we justified this trust by delivering the A330-300P2F on time. This delivery, which marks a milestone in our history, also showcases the synergy formed by the deep operational and engineering expertise between EFW and parent company, ST Aerospace. As the most modern converted freighter in the industry, the A330-300P2F will support operators well with Fly-By-Wire-technology and 26 full container positions in the upper cargo deck.”
Also commenting Lim Serh Ghee, president of ST Aerospace said: “The smooth process in attaining EASA’s STC reflects the strength & quality in the engineering and design of the P2F solution, as well as our close working relationship with the aircraft original equipment manufacturer (OEM), Airbus and the aircraft conversion expertise of EFW. The delivery of our first A330-300P2F is a strong start to the conversion programme. We are confident the freighter will serve DHL well, and we look forward to the next redelivery in early 2018.”