CBD Aviation enters conversion market with EFW deal

CDB Aviation A330 P2F

China Development Bank’s Irish leasing subsidiary CDB Aviation has ordered freighter conversion of a pair of Airbus A330-300s for operation in early 2022.

The two aircraft will undergo cargo conversion at the Dresden-based EFW facility next year.

CDB Aviation said the agreement to take the aircraft marks its “first entry” into the freighter-conversion market.

The lessor has 33 A330s in its fleet which comprises a total of 228 aircraft.

“We are seeing an increasing interest from our customers for medium-sized freighters, as they look to take advantage of record-high freighter utilisation, rapidly growing e-commerce demand, and higher cargo yields,” said chief executive Patrick Hannigan.

CDB Aviation said the passenger-to-freighter conversion of the A330s will provide a modern successor to the A300 freighter and older Boeing 767s.

The company said the medium widebody freighter segment is today comprised of over 600 aircraft, served primarily by aging twin-jet aircraft, such as the Boeing 767F and Airbus A300F, which have an average age of 22 years.

“[This aircraft] will bring next generation technology and efficiency to this segment,” said the lessor.

“With growing express cargo demand and declining cargo densities, [it will offer] more volumetric space than older freighters in this category, in line with what cargo operators and freight forwarders are seeking.”

Hannigan added that the aircraft is a “natural evolution” from its A330 portfolio and will “seamlessly slot” into the fleets of operators which already use other Airbus family jets.

“With 12,000 Airbus cockpit aircraft in service, the A330-300 P2F will seamlessly slot into the fleets of A320 Family, A330, and A350 operators, and will bring a new paradigm of efficiency with 23% more cargo volume,” said Hannigan.

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