Airbus was given the go-ahead from the Board of Directors of its parent company EADS for the industrial launch of its wide-body A330-200 Freighter aircraft, for which it has already received 26 commitments from two customers. Following its commercial launch last summer, the decision for the industrial launch of the A330-200F is based on a strong market demand for over 400 freighters in the 60 plus tonne category over the next 20 years. The A330-200 freighter is the only mid-size, long-haul all-cargo aircraft capable of carrying 64 tonnes over 4,000nm / 7,400 km, or 69 tonnes up to 3,200nm / 5,930 km in payload mode configuration. Entry into service of the first A330 freighter is planned for the second half of 2009.
Airbus President and CEO, and co-CEO of EADS Louis Gallois welcomed the industrial launch of the A330 freighter: ”With the A330-200F, Airbus is well placed to satisfy a large percentage of the market demand by offering superior main- and lower-deck hold flexibility than the competition, while providing more range and 21 per cent more lift. Moreover, this freighter flies 20 per cent further and has a cost per tonne 13 per cent lower that its direct competitor. We are convinced it will be a best “seller”,“ he said.
In addition to the much needed replacement of older mid-size aircraft, the range of the A330-200F will offer airlines the opportunity to ramp-up services, in low frequency long-haul markets currently served with Boeing the 747F, develop new routes, and respond to market growth.
Flexibility has been further enhanced on the A330-200F with the introduction of a versatile main-deck cargo loading system, which can accommodate both pallets and containers, enabling operators to service each of these very different markets. This versatility offers several different arrangements on the main deck, taking up to 23 Side-by-Side (SBS) pallets, aimed at the high volume, high value commodities or Single Row (SR) loading of 16 pallets (96”x 96”x125” SR pallets) and/or nine AMA containers aimed at the general cargo higher density markets.
The A330-200F is a derivative of the very popular A330 Family operated by more than 60 operators worldwide. This will greatly facilitate the entry into service of the new all-cargo variant into existing A330 fleets. As for all other Airbus aircraft currently in production, the A330-200F will also benefit from full operational commonality unique to Airbus thanks to the now well recognised Airbus Fly-By-Wire technology which also enables faster pilot transitioning to and from other Airbus aircraft, both passenger and freighter.
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