CDB Aviation, a wholly owned Irish subsidiary of China Development Bank Financial Leasing, announced the re-delivery of China’s first-ever converted Airbus A330-300 Passenger to Freighter (A330 P2F) aircraft on lease to its customer, Sichuan Airlines.
The A330 was converted by Elbe Flugzeugwerke GmbH (EFW) with Shanghai Technologies Aerospace Company Limited (STARCO) at its facilities in Shanghai Pudong, concluding EFW’s first-ever A330 P2F conversion to have taken place in China.
“This re-delivery marks a significant milestone for Sichuan Airlines and China as we see the outcome of intense work and collaboration resulting in the arrival of the country’s very first A330 P2F,” said Jie Chen, CDB Aviation’s Chief Executive Officer. “We are grateful to the Sichuan Airlines team for trusting CDB Aviation to be a partner in supporting their innovative fleet strategy and for becoming our first A330 P2F customer in China. This aircraft will be a superb addition to their fleet as the airline continues to serve the country’s rapidly expanding air cargo market.”
The freighter, equipped with Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines, was delivered to Sichuan Airlines on May 15, 2023, becoming the inaugural A330 P2F in the carrier’s fleet. In addition to the A330 P2F, CDB Aviation has two A320 aircraft on lease to the airline.
“We are very happy to build on our relationship with CDB Aviation and thank CEO Jie Chen and his team for their work and cooperation in bringing this aircraft to market,” said Zuyi Shi, Sichuan Airlines’ CEO. “The introduction of this A330 P2F will provide us more freighter capacity to meet the market requirement and further strengthen our development strategy in cargo business.”
The A330 P2F is the in-demand, next-generation aircraft in the fast-growing medium widebody space. CDB Aviation was one of the first lessors to secure conversion commitments for the A330 P2F. Since the company’s entry into the air cargo space in 2022, CDB Aviation has contracted 14 A330 P2F conversions with EFW.
“To offer conversions in China, serving the high demand in this growing market, was an important strategic decision for EFW,” commented Jordi Boto, CEO of Elbe Flugzeugwerke GmbH. “We are very pleased to have successfully started this journey together with CDB Aviation, our first customer with A330 P2F conversions on three continents, and we are very grateful for the trust they placed in us.”
Han Weimin, general manager of Shanghai Technologies Aerospace Company Limited, said: “We are very honoured to do the first A330 P2F conversion in China. It is a big challenge to us. This first re-delivery is a milestone for STARCO and the Chinese aviation industry. We will continue to re-deliver more converted aircraft to Chinese and worldwide customers.”
“The A330 P2F continues to gain traction as the preferred, next-generation medium widebody freighter. We strategically positioned our platform to be at the forefront of the A330 P2F program. CDB Aviation’s team has worked admirably in advancing this delivery and related cargo program. We are very pleased with its accelerating momentum and look forward to expanding our freighter fleet in collaboration with our partners at Airbus, ST Engineering, and EFW,” said CDB’s Chen.