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 says 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,” says chief executive Patrick Hannigan.

A330 P2F wide-c-CDB Aviation

Source: CDB Aviation

Conversion specialist EFW will carry out the modification for CDB Aviation

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

“[This aircraft] will bring next generation technology and efficiency to this segment,” says 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 adds 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.