CDB Advances A330 P2F Strategy with New Conversion Orders and Introduction in China

CDB Aviation, a wholly-owned Irish subsidiary of China Development Bank Financial Leasing, detailed new developments in its A330 passenger-to-freighter (A330 P2F) strategy and related commercial activity at the Singapore Air Show,

CDB Aviation committed to an additional 12 conversions with EFW, a joint venture of ST Engineering and Airbus, expanding its A330 P2F fleet to 14 aircraft. Moreover, the lessor is on pace to launch the A330-300 P2F freighter type in China in 2022, with lease commitments from Sichuan Airlines and Jiangxi Cargo Airlines.

“We have strategically positioned our platform to be the A330 P2F program frontrunner among lessors,” Patrick Hannigan, CEO of CDB Aviation, said, adding that the A330 P2F marked the lessor’s first entry into the air cargo space. “We’re very satisfied with this program’s progress and momentum to date and look forward to further expanding our freighter fleet in collaboration with our partners at Airbus, ST Engineering and EFW.”

CDB Aviation was one of the first lessors to secure conversion commitments for the A330 P2F, contracting two initial conversions with EFW in November 2020. According to CDB Aviation, with this latest order, the company will become the largest lessor of EFW-converted A330 P2Fs, with a total of 14 aircraft in its fleet.

“The A330 P2F continues to gain traction as the preferred next-generation type in the fast-growing medium widebody freighter space,” Hannigan said. “It is delivering to cargo operators the most advanced fly-by-wire technology, increased volumetric capacity for today’s less dense freight, reduced fuel consumption, a lower environmental footprint and the benefits of Airbus fleet commonality.”

“We are proud to have leading lessor CDB Aviation on board, growing its orders for A330 P2Fs,” Andreas Sperl, CEO of EFW, said. “The A330 P2F program is proving highly popular, and we now have over 80 aircraft on order. EFW is leading the overall A330 P2F program, which is a collaboration between ST Engineering, Airbus and EFW. 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.”

CDB Aviation’s first two A330 P2Fs are currently being converted in EFW’s facility in Dresden, Germany, and will be re-delivered to its launch operator, Mexico-based MasAir, in early 2022.

CDB Aviation also contracted three more placements with two new customers: Sichuan Airlines and Jiangxi Cargo Airlines.

Chengdu, China-based Sichuan Airlines leased two A330-300 P2Fs, which will join the carrier’s existing freighter fleet of three A330-200Fs upon delivery in late 2022 and the middle of 2023. The lease transaction marks the first time that Sichuan Airlines will operate the A330-300 P2F type. These aircraft will provide the carrier with additional freighter capacity to meet cargo demand.

Jiangxi Cargo Airlines, a new Nanchang, China-based startup cargo carrier created through a joint venture between the Jiangxi Provincial Government and privately-owned Hongyuan Group, leased one A330-300 P2F to be delivered in early 2023. Being the first cargo carrier owned and supported by the provincial government, Jiangxi Cargo Airlines sees the A330 P2F as the perfect fit for its future cargo strategy.

“We’re delighted to welcome Sichuan Airlines and Jiangxi Cargo Airlines to our growing list of A330-300 P2F operators, marking the type’s first application in China,” Peter Goodman, chief marketing officer of CDB Aviation, said. “We know the aircraft will be a superb addition to both these carriers as they grow their business to serve the country’s rapidly expanding air cargo demand.”

In 2022, CDB Aviation will expand its global conversion footprint by becoming the first customer for A330 P2F conversions to take place in the facilities of ST Engineering in Shanghai, China, and VT MAE in Mobile, AL. These conversion locations have been added to the existing A330 P2F conversion facilities of EFW in Dresden, Germany, and ST Engineering in Singapore. By the middle of 2022, CDB Aviation plans to have aircraft converted simultaneously in Dresden, Shanghai and Mobile

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