Andrew Doyle/MUNICH

FedEx has become the first customer for EADS Elbe Flugzeugwerke's (EFW) recently-launched Airbus A300-600 passenger-to-freighter conversion programme with an initial contract for three aircraft to be modified starting in May.


The US express package carrier has acquired a total of eight Pratt & Whitney PW4000-powered A300- 600/600Rs from Korean Air Lines and is expected to have all of them converted at EFW's Dresden conversion facility by the end of 2003, say industry sources. EADS declines to comment on the deal.

The sources say the first converted A300 is due to be handed over to FedEx in November. The US cargo airline has previously only purchased new-build A300-600 Freighters from Airbus, and its fleet totals 36 aircraft. FedEx has built a large fleet of A310-200Fs through the acquisition of used aircraft, all of which have been converted by EADS/DaimlerChrysler. There are 42 A310Fs operated.

Meanwhile, EADS has received a letter of intent from US joint venture Magellan Aircraft Services/Triton Aviation Services for the conversion of a mix of 10 A310-300s and A300-600s, at the rate of two aircraft per year over the next five years. The first A310 will arrive at Dresden in March, followed by a second in July.

EADS says the third and fourth aircraft will also be A310s, but the remaining six could be any combination of A310s and A300-600s. It adds that the order, which includes provision of maintenance services, is valued at more than €100 million ($89 million).

Magellan/Triton was the launch customer for the A310-300 conversion programme, and is due to receive two aircraft from the original order in early 2001.

Source: Flight International