Bonn - On December 1st, DHL Express became the first operator of an Airbus A330-300P2F (Passenger to Freighter).

The modification of the aircraft from passenger to cargo version was made by Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW), a joint venture between Airbus and ST Aerospace. The test flights were completed in October and the Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) was issued by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in November. The delivery took place on December 1st at EFW's facilities in Dresden.

Airbus expects global demand to reach 2,700 cargo planes over the next 20 years. Of this total, nearly half will be mid-size aircraft (the A330 segment).

DHL Express has ordered eight A330-300 P2Fs and has placed options for ten additional aircraft. "The first aircraft is planned to strengthen our Asia-Pacific network, bringing additional capacity and efficiency to a market where we are seeing dynamic growth in volumes," said Geoff Kehr, ‎Senior Vice President of Global Air Fleet Management at DHL Express.

The A330P2F program was launched in 2012 at the Singapore Air Show, as a partnership between ST Aerospace, Airbus, and their joint venture EFW. ST Aerospace acts as Technical Authority who is responsible for certification requests from FAA and EASA. EFW deals with industrialization and marketing, while Airbus provides support as the manufacturer.

The A330P2F program covers two versions of the A330: the A330-200P2F and the larger A330-300P2F. The A330-300 can carry up to 62 tonnes of cargo over 4200 NM (6,760 kilometers) at lower density thanks to its high volumetric capacity. The A330-200P2F is optimized for higher density freight transport and greater range.

Airbus considers the A330P2F program to be complementary to the A330-200F.

Airbus expects global demand to reach 2,700 cargo planes over the next 20 years. Of this total, nearly half will be mid-size aircraft (the A330 segment). Airbus targets to convert 900 A330 from the passenger to cargo version in this period of time.

A330-300P2F Interior
A330-300P2F Interior