Toulouse - Airbus expects Amazon and UPS to include A330neo in their freighter fleets. A full freighter with modern engines could spur the program and spark new competition with Boeing.
According to an insider who spoke to Bloomberg news agency, Amazon and UPS proposed to Airbus the idea of producing a freighter version of the A330-900 with more cargo capacity for shorter deployments. The addition of a freight model could boost the demand for the type, which has just received 200 orders since its launch.
Airbus and Amazon did not want to comment on the issue
UPS routinely looks at the market for ways to acquire new and used freighters,said the American logistics company and described its involvement in the launch of an A330neo freighter program as "speculation."
The air freight business rebounded sharply in 2017 from a ten-year crisis. Amazon is building a freighter fleet of 40 Boeing 767s to become more independent from other logistics service providers.
Boeing currently controls the freighter market. Airbus' freighter A330-200F has received only 42 orders so far. The aircraft can carry 65 to 70 tons of cargo.
Meanwhile, Lufthansa Cargo is assuming that Boeing will derive a full-freighter from the 777X within a few years.