MNG views A300 as entry model into P2F market

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Turkish MRO provider MNG Technic plans to extend its cargo conversion capabilities beyond the Airbus A300-600.

The Istanbul-based company took over the existing STC for the type's passenger-to-freight (P2F) modification from B/E Aerospace subsidiary Flight Structures (FSI) in September 2011, completing its first conversion earlier this month.

The aircraft (MSN 734) is one of the three ex-China Southern Airlines A300-600s that are being converted for sister cargo carrier MNG Airlines. Work on the second aircraft (MSN 739) has now begun, while the third (MSN 756) will follow shortly after. The modification line can accommodate one aircraft at a time.

While the modification of the first aircraft - which included a heavy maintenance check - took about a year, the MRO provider aims to reduce the turnaround time to 6-8 months, says Bilal Karaman, executive vice-president production.

He estimates that around 50 of the A300-600s currently in the marketplace would be suitable for freighter conversion, either through MNG or through EADS's conversion centre Elbe Flugzeugwerke in Dresden, Germany - the only alternative provider.

Modification of the type should provide enough work for up to five years, Karaman says, and MNG is already negotiating with a number of potential future customers.

He describes the A300-600 as the company's "entry model" into the P2F market. While MNG is not looking for a follow-up type at the moment, Karaman insists that the company's technical capabilities could be "easily transferred to other aircraft".

The MRO provider was approved to service Boeing 767s in 2011, and it expects respective certification for the A330 before year-end.