LONDON – On July 11, it was announced that AFG Aviation Ireland, the Irish subsidiary of Aircraft Finance Germany, has acquired an Airbus A330 from one of CMA CGM’s subsidiaries.
The New Acquisition
AFG Aviation Ireland has acquired one Airbus A330-200 from the French shipping powerhouse, CMA CGM S.A. The aircraft in question is MSN 926.
MSN 926 is currently operated by MEA – Middle East Airlines under registration OD-MED, based out of Beirut in Lebanon, and is currently 14 years old after being delivered to MEA back in June 2008.
Since its delivery in 2008, the aircraft has primarily been operated on MEA’s higher-demand services, such as Lagos in Nigeria, London in the United Kingdom, Istanbul in Turkey, Paris in France, Frankfurt in Germany, Doha in Qatar, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.
However, the airframe has since remained in storage in Beirut for the past year.
In due course, the aircraft will be ferried to Teruel Airport (TEV) in Spain for storage, where it will sit waiting to be converted to a freighter aircraft by Elbe Flugzeugwerke GmbH (EFW).
This will be CMA CGM’s first Airbus A330 Freighter, which has been converted from passenger usage, also known as P2F (Passenger to Freighter).
Peter Koster, AFG’s Head of Freighter Lease and Trading, has commented on the new agreement, saying, “We are very pleased with our acquisition of this strong asset from CMA CGM.”
“We are bullish regarding the long-term outlook for the air freight industry, and this aircraft will perform nicely post-conversion as a full freighter.”
CMA CGM’s Air Freight Division
CMA CGM Air Cargo, the air freight division of CMA CGM S.A., has only been around in the aviation industry just over a year after commencing operations back in February 2021.
Since its start in just over a year, the company has acquired a total of six aircraft in its fleet, this is broken down as four Airbus A330-200 Freighters and two recently delivered Boeing 777 Freighters.
The company is also due to receive another two Boeing 777 Freighters for a total of four of the type and, as above, one Airbus A330 P2F.
Both of their Boeing 777 Freighters were delivered only recently in June to the carrier, of which both are brand new directly from Boeing’s manufacturing facility in Washington, United States.
At the start of the year, the carrier also placed an order with Airbus for four Airbus A350 Freighters, which will boost their Airbus freighter fleet to a total of nine aircraft once they have taken delivery of all of their current orders, but an entire fleet of 13 with the four Boeing 777 Freighters in that mix as well.
The Airbus A350 Freighter will be able to carry a total payload of 109 tonnes, whilst still having a 30-tonne lighter TOW (Takeoff Weight) compared to its closest competitor aircraft meaning it burns 20% less fuel.
It is Airbus’ latest dedicated freighter variant to the market and targets the likes of Boeing’s 777 Freighter aircraft with the hopes of also replacing some cargo carrier’s older Boeing 747 Freighter aircraft, given its similar total tonnage.