Company said to be planning bid for work on Air Hong Kong order for A300-600s

Flight Structures (FSI) has concluded the purchase of BAE Systems' Airbus A300 passenger-to -freighter conversion line.

The B/E Aerospace subsidiary confirms that the deal has been finalised to transfer the supplemental type certificate (STC) for the A300B4 conversion and to take over the planned conversion for the -600.

The company, which is based at Arlington near Seattle, Washington, is already a partner on the programme, having designed and developed the STC for the A300B4 conversion.

BAE says it has arranged with FSI for the full support of the 40 A300B4 conversions it has carried out over the last five years at its Filton, UK, factory. FSI will not reveal details of where it plans to establish a conversion line, but confirms that it will not undertake the work in-house and is seeking third-party partners to carry out the modifications.

The UK manufacturer has completed extensive preparatory work for an A300-600 modification, which it was preparing to launch before leaving the market. The sale to FSI signals the re-introduction of competition in the emerging A300-600 conversion market. EADS-EFW, based in Dresden, Germany, has held a monopoly on A300/A310 cargo conversions after BAE decided to sell its non-original equipment manufacturer-approved business.

According to industry sources, FSI plans to bid against EADS-EFW for work on the fleet of A300-600s Cathay Pacific Airways is looking to buy for its Air Hong Kong subsidiary, now 30%-owned by DHL.

BAE announced in May its decision to seek a buyer for its Airbus freighter conversion division at Filton, citing the lack of "a sustainable orderbook". It said it was looking to sell the factory as a whole or break up the assets into component parts for individual sales.

Source: Flight International