Colombian carrier Avianca has signed a firm order for four Airbus A330-200 freighters, becoming the first Latin American carrier to operate the type.

The aircraft will be operated by its cargo subsidiary Tampa. Avianca, which has merged with El Salvador-based airline group Taca to form Avianca-Taca, will announce its engine choice for the aircraft later, said Airbus. An Airbus spokesman declined to specify the delivery dates of the aircraft.

Tampa will use the new freighters to replace its existing cargo fleet and expand Avianca's international cargo business. Tampa operates a fleet of Boeing 767 freighters, Flightglobal's ACAS database shows.

"As an existing operator of seven A330 passenger aircraft, we are confident that these new A330 freighters will bring us greater fuel efficiency, lower operating costs and improved environmental performance," said Fabio Villegas, CEO of Avianca-Taca Holdings and president of Avianca.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news