australian aviation logo

Snapped: Last flight of Qantas A330 before it becomes freighter

written by Adam Thorn | February 20, 2023

Craig Murray shot VH-EBE in Sydney before it departed to become an A330 freighter.

Australian Aviation photographer Craig Murray captured the moment a Qantas A330 left Sydney to be converted into a freighter aircraft.

VH-EBE departed the NSW capital at 8:01pm as flight QF6616 on 12 February. It eventually landed in Dresden, Germany, at 8:32am the next day after a diversion to Vienna.

It’s the second of the Flying Kangaroo’s wide-body aircraft that will be transformed into an A330P2F (passenger to freighter), with the first set to join the dedicated Australia Post freight fleet later this year.

The conversion of VH-EBE – named Kangaroo Valley – will be performed by EFW, a specialist joint venture between Airbus and ST Engineering.

Conversion work will include a full strip-out of the cabin (seats, galleys, toilets), replacing the existing cabin door with a larger freight door and installing a cargo handling system.


Qantas executive manager of freight, Catriona Larritt, said, “Kangaroo Valley has done us proud by carrying millions of passengers safely around Australia, Asia and the Pacific for 15 years.

“In its new adventure as a dedicated freighter, it will carry tonnes of imports and exports from fresh flowers and live seafood to thousands of e-commerce parcels and packages.”

Once converted, the aircraft will be able to carry up to 50 tonnes of freight on each flight.

The A330 isn’t the only passenger-to-freighter aircraft Qantas has ordered.

Australian Aviation reported in August how the flag carrier would also purchase six more of the smaller A321s that it will then convert into freighters to replace its ageing 737s. It already has three A321P2Fs in its fleet now.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said last year, “Qantas Freight has been one of the standout performers for the Group during the pandemic as Australians rapidly shifted to online shopping.

“While some of that shift is temporary, demand remains well-above [sic] pre-pandemic levels even with the lifting of almost all COVID-related restrictions.”

The A321P2Fs can carry 23 tonnes of cargo – nine tonnes more than the older 737s – and are around 30 per cent more fuel efficient per tonne of freight carried. Qantas will source the aircraft “on the open market” before carrying out the conversions.

Qantas Freight currently has a fleet of 18 aircraft, and the first of the extra six A321 freighters are scheduled to arrive early next year.

You need to be a member to post comments. Become a member today!

You don't have credit card details available. You will be redirected to update payment method page. Click OK to continue.