Airbus’ first A330-200F has joined the fleet of Etihad Airways, bringing highly efficient, reliable and profitable cargo lift capability with a new mid-size jetliner for this United Arab Emirates airline’s air freight operations.
The milestone A330-200F was delivered this month with a flight from Toulouse, France – where the aircraft was assembled – to Etihad’s base in Abu Dhabi. It follows a formal handover of the jetliner to Etihad Airways during a ceremony in July at the U.K.’s Farnborough International Airshow.
This A330-200F will enter service next month with the Etihad Crystal Cargo operation – which offers a comprehensive range of air freight services to destinations on the airline’s expanding route network.
In addition to its new A330-200F, Etihad’s dedicated cargo fleet also includes two leased A300Fs – which are operated on scheduled routes to Europe, Asia and Africa. Its inventory will be further expanded in October with delivery of the carrier’s second A330-200F.
The A330-200F’s upcoming service entry is well-timed for Etihad Crystal Cargo, coming on the heels of a record July, when the airline carried more than 30,000 shipments – driven by increased volume from Pakistan, Australia, China and Bangladesh, transporting more than 23,000 tonnes of cargo.
This performance is another sign of the global air freight market’s rebound, and underscores the A330-200F’s market entry today as “the right aircraft, right now” for cargo operators and aircraft leasing companies worldwide.
Airbus currently holds 64 firm orders from 10 customers for the A330-200F, which is based on its popular A330-200 passenger jetliner. In addition to offering better payload, range and economics than previous-generation freighters in its class, the A330-200F also provides the full benefits of operational commonality with the fly-by-wire family of Airbus single-aisle and widebody jetliners.