Qatar Airways is poised to replace its Airbus A300-600 freighters with new-build A330-200Fs after concluding a lease deal with BOC Aviation.
The Doha-based carrier's cargo arm operates the three A300-600Fs alongside four Boeing 777Fs.
Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker told Flightglobal that the airline has decided to acquire three new A330-200Fs to enable it to phase out its three A300-600Fs. "Delivery is imminent, the first is in the paint shop," he says, confirming that the lessor is BOC Aviation.
It is understood that the three A330Fs are being leased while Qatar Airways negotiates a larger deal for either new or converted A330 freighters. The airline has been in long-running talks with Airbus and EADS' conversion unit EFW about a deal to convert its large fleet of passenger A330-200s and -300s to freighters, but has so far failed to reach agreement.
It is understood that the three A330-200Fs were previously earmarked for lease to HNA Group of China. The first aircraft is being prepared for delivery to Qatar Airways in Toulouse, with the others due to follow in early 2013.