UK-based wet lease and charter carrier Titan Airways is adding a converted Airbus A330-300 freighter to its fleet. The new addition was converted from passenger operations in 2020 and was formerly carrying passengers for budget airline AirAsia X. Let’s take a look at this delivery and what it means for Titan Airways.
Titan goes back to widebodies
According to ch-aviation.com, Titan Airways will soon take delivery of its first widebody freighter: An Airbus A330-300(P2F). P2F is a short form for ‘passenger to freighter,’ meaning that the aircraft was converted from its original passenger-carrying configuration into a dedicated cargo aircraft.
The widebody twinjet will be used for CMI operations, which itself is short for “Crew, Maintenance, and Insurance.” As clearly described, this is a form of leasing that includes the three aspects of aircraft operation. The end-user hiring the aircraft from Titan remains undisclosed.
While Titan Airways once operated a GECAS-owned Boeing 767 between 2009 and 2020, the airline hasn’t had a widebody for over a year. At the moment, the airline has four types of aircraft: The Airbus A320 and A321, as well as the Boeing 737 and 757.
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About the A330-300
The Airbus A330-300 that is soon joining Titan will be registered in the UK as G-EODS. At the time of publication, the jet is registered EI-GTT and remains in AirAsia X livery. Once repainted, the aircraft can be delivered to Titan.
Prior to the aircraft’s conversion, it held the registration 9M-XBD and flew as a regular passenger aircraft for AirAsia X between 2018 and 2020. In this role, the aircraft had a single-class configuration of 367 seats. AirAsia X is the long-haul brand of the AirAsia Group in Southeast Asia, which is itself dedicated to low-cost passenger services.
Going further back, Planespotters.net data shows that the aircraft first flew with China Eastern Airlines under registration B-6119. This was between 2006 and 2017. With its first flight in December 2005, the aircraft is now 15.6 years old.
Conversion in Germany
After the aircraft’s time flying passengers with AirAsia X, but before going to Titan Airways, the A330 had to undergo its extensive conversion to become a freighter. This work was done by Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW) in Dresden.
This German firm appears to have significant experience converting Airbus aircraft, with over 200 Airbus A300/A310 Medium Widebody aircraft converted. The company is also certified to convert A320s, A321s, and A330s.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, other parts of Titan’s P2F fleet have also gone through EFW and ST Aerospace. Two of the airline’s A321-200 P2F aircraft were converted at ST Aerospace facilities in Singapore.
EFW’s focus on Airbus makes complete sense when you find out that 45% of the company is owned by Airbus itself. ST Aerospace of Singapore has been a majority shareholder with 55% since January 2016.
Do you think Titan Airways will have an easy time acquiring clients to use this new widebody freighter? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment.