Airline and leasing company customers saw the on-schedule progress of Airbus' A330-200F freighter firsthand during a recent programme review at the aircraft's final assembly line.
Airbus' new mid-size, long-haul cargo aircraft is on target to make its first flight in November. The A330-200F is also expected to be approximately 500 kg lighter than initially indicated, translating directly into additional payload capability.
During the review, representatives from both current and potential freighter customers toured the A330/A340 final assembly line in Toulouse, France, where two A330-200Fs are in production alongside the passenger version of the aircraft. They also reviewed the functional testing of the freighter's systems.
Review attendees were impressed by the freighter programme's rapid advancement and maturity. The A330-200F is the first Airbus product to address the market for heavy cargo, as well as the first new mid-sized cargo aircraft launched in 40 years.
There are currently 67 firm orders from nine customers for the freighter. Certification is expected during spring 2010, with the first delivery to follow during the summer.