Chinese operator Sichuan Airlines has taken delivery of the country’s first converted Airbus A330-300 freighter, through lessor CDB Aviation.

The twinjet – powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines – was modified by the EFW joint venture and Shanghair Technologies Aerospace Company at a facility in Shanghai Pudong.

“Introduction of this [converted A330] will provide us more freighter capacity to meet the market requirement and further strengthen our development strategy in cargo business,” says Sichuan Airlines chief executive Zuyi Shi.

CDB Aviation has ordered 14 A330 conversions from EFW, and the Sichuan aircraft is the first such modification of the type to have been carried out 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,” says the lessor’s chief, Jie Chen.

Sichuan A330-300P2F-c-CDB Aviation

Source: CDB Aviation

Sichuan’s A330 freighter was originally delivered as a passenger jet to China Southern

CDB Aviation also has two Airbus A320s on lease to the carrier.

Sichuan’s A330-300 freighter (B-32D2) was originally delivered to China Southern Airlines in 2008, and was subsequently operated by wet-lease specialist SmartLynx Malta.

“It is a big challenge to us,” says Shanghai Technologies Aerospace Company general manager Han Weimin, referring to the modification programme.

“This first re-delivery is a milestone for [the company] and the Chinese aviation industry. We will continue to re-deliver more converted aircraft to Chinese and worldwide customers.”