The unmatched airlifter for outsized cargo
Featuring one of the most voluminous cargo holds of any civil or military aircraft flying today, the Airbus Beluga offers a unique way to transport oversized air cargo.
Also known as A300-600ST Super Transporters, the company’s five existing Beluga airlifters play a key role in keeping its production and assembly network operating at full capacity – with the fleet’s overall pace of operations growing to support production ramp-ups. Airbus’ oversize air transport capabilities will be further reinforced by a new generation of A330 Family-based Beluga aircraft, the Beluga XL, which was launched in November 2014.
With more than 20 years of reliable service, the Beluga carries complete sections of Airbus aircraft from different production sites around Europe to the final assembly lines in Toulouse and Hamburg. The five-aircraft fleet of A300-600ST Belugas – operated by the Airbus Transport International (ATI) subsidiary – transports such components as fuselage sections, wings and tails for Airbus’ single-aisle A320 and widebody A330 families, along with parts for the A350 XWB.
In addition to serving the internal transportation needs of Airbus, ATI offers Belugas on a charter basis to third parties. ATI ensures a high level of customer satisfaction with loading, unloading, and delivery designed to be fast, safe, flexible, and reliable – as demonstrated by over two decades of successful operations throughout the world.
INCREASING THE BELUGA FLEET’S CAPABILITIES
To support the A350 XWB ramp-up and other production rate increases, Airbus is expanding its existing A300-600ST fleet with the development and production of five new Beluga XL aircraft, derived from the company’s versatile A330 widebody product line.
In addition to the significant use of existing components and equipment, Airbus’ new A330-based Beluga will incorporate newly-developed elements including its lowered cockpit, cargo bay structure, and rear and tail section.
The first A330-based Beluga XL aircraft is planned to enter service in mid-2019 – operating in parallel with the existing five-aircraft A300-600ST fleet, which is to be progressively retired through 2025.