CDB Aviation Adds 12 A330P2Fs To Portfolio

Credit: Airbus

SINGAPORE—Lessor CDB Aviation is stepping up its commitment to the Airbus A330 passenger-to-freighter conversion market and has secured conversions for 12 additional aircraft at Elbe FLugzeugwerke (EFW).

CDB has placed two of the 12 aircraft with Sichuan Airlines and another with Jiangxi Cargo Airlines—the three mark the entry of the type into the Chinese market. The Sichuan aircraft are to be delivered in late 2022 and 2023 while the Jiangxi aircraft will be handed over in 2023. All three are A330-300P2Fs.

“We have strategically positioned our platform to be the A330P2F program front-runner among lessors,” says CDB Aviation CEO Patrick Hannigan. The lessor was not previously active in the freighter market. The orders for 12 conversions come on top of two existing orders. EWF says it has commitments for 80 A330P2Fs.

“To ensure we can meet the rising demand for freighter conversions, EFW and ST Engineering are in the process of ramping up their conversion capacity.” says EFW CEO Andreas Sperl.

The A330-300P2F has a maximum payload of 62 tons and space for 27 pallets on the main deck and 11 on the lower deck. At maximum payload, it has a range of 3,660 nm, according to Airbus.

Airbus estimates there is a global demand for about 900 freighter conversions over the next 20 years. There were close to 1,500 A330s in service in January, the OEM says. Freighter conversions typically take place when aircraft reach 15-20 years of age. In 2002, Airbus delivered 42 A330s, increasing to 76 in 2009 and 108 each year in 2013 and 2014. Production declined to 66 in 2016 and Airbus only delivered 16 of the aircraft in 2021. With long-haul traffic still down and the in-service fleet parked, stored or underutilized, airlines have been looking at earlier conversions so they can participate in the current cargo boom.

Jens Flottau

Based in Frankfurt, Germany, Jens is executive editor and leads Aviation Week Network’s global team of journalists covering commercial aviation.