Following the authorization to offer the A330 Freighter last summer, Guggenheim Aviation Partners, LLC (GAP), the US-based aviation investment firm, acting on behalf of one of its investment funds, is the first customer to sign a contract for the A330-200F, the newest member of the A330/A340 family. With this order for six aircraft, converting a Letter of Intent signed last October, GAP becomes a launch customer for the new Airbus freighter with deliveries expected to commence in early 2010.
"Guggenheim Aviation Partners is pleased to add the new wide-body freighter, the Airbus A330-200F, to our growing fleet" said GAP Managing Director Paul Newrick. "Guggenheim Aviation Partners is making a significant investment in the acquisition of medium range and long-haul freighters, as we believe this is a market that is currently underserved and is expected to benefit from near-term industry growth", he added.
Airbus COO Customers, John Leahy underlined the importance of the deal, saying: "We are very pleased that Guggenheim Aviation Partners has chosen to be a launch customer for the A330-200F. The decision by such an investment firm to acquire the A330-200 freighter is a great endorsement for our new freighter. It clearly demonstrates Guggenheim's foresight and the confidence investors put in the value of our new freighter".
Depending on mode selected, the A330-200F can carry up to 64 metric tonnes over 4,000 nautical miles / 7,400 km or 69 metric tonnes up to 3,200 nautical miles / 5,930 km - non-stop. These range and payload capabilities will enable operators to grow their business by opening up or extending cargo routes they currently operate. Thanks to an optimized fuselage cross-section, it has the interior flexibility to carry a wide variety of pallet and container sizes for maximum interlining capability, offering 30 percent more volume than any freighter in its class.
The A330-200F is a derivative of the very popular A330 Family aircraft with more than 60 operators worldwide. With a large number of aircraft in service it will enable a smooth introduction of the new all-cargo variant into existing A330 fleets. The A330-200F will also benefit from, as all the other Airbus aircraft in production, the now well recognised Airbus Fly-By-Wire technology enabling faster pilot transition to and from other Airbus aircraft, both passenger and freighter.
Airbus is an EADS Company.