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Qantas unveils A330 converted into freighter

written by Adam Thorn | October 22, 2023

Qantas A330-200, VH-EBF, named Hercules, is now a freighter

Qantas has unveiled its latest A330-200 that it converted from a passenger aircraft into a freighter.

VH-EBF, named Hercules, flew its last commercial flight in November last year before heading to Dresden in Germany for its conversion to become a P2F (passenger to freighter).

The aircraft, operated in partnership with Australia Post, departed the European city on 8 September for Cairns via stops in Busan and Singapore but was formally unveiled to the media on Sunday.

The A330’s arrival forms part of a major overhaul of Qantas Freight’s aircraft that will see it create nine new A321 P2Fs, taking its final fleet to 12. It’s also planning to receive one more A330 P2F.

“The newly converted A330-200P2F aircraft doubles the volume of Australia Post’s largest current freighter,” said Australia Post.


“Providing 130 tonnes of capacity each night, initially, the new freighter will operate between the east coast and Perth, carrying StarTrack and Express Post parcels.

“This investment marks a major milestone in Australia Post’s commitment to enhancing its delivery network and will increase overall peak capacity by 29 per cent.

“The new freighter will reduce Australia Post’s aircraft emissions by replacing a B737F, which will be retired from the fleet.

“Producing 42 per cent less carbon emissions per kilogram of cargo than the B737F, the extensive capacity of the A330 requires less fuel for each parcel carried.

The Flying Kangaroo’s overhaul of freighter aircraft is part of a wider fleet renewal program that will transform its domestic and international aircraft.

Internationally, Qantas will receive 12 new 787 Dreamliners and 12 Airbus A350s to replace the bulk of its ageing A330 fleet, alongside a separate order for 12 specially adapted A350-1000 jets to launch Project Sunrise.

Domestically, the airline will purchase 20 Airbus A321XLRs and 29 A220-300s to fly its domestic routes, but with the option to buy many more.

Subsidiary brand Jetstar has already begun welcoming its new fleet of 38 A320neos, comprised of 18 A321LRs and 20 A321XLR aircraft – an even longer-range variant.

Qantas received its last 787, VH-ZNN’ Snowy River’, last month, after taking delivery of VH-ZNM, named ‘Mateship’ and VH-ZNL, ‘Billabong’.

Like previous Qantas 787-9s, the final three aircraft feature 42 business class lie-flat bed seats, 28 premium economy seats, and 166 economy seats.

Alongside purchasing new aircraft, Qantas has also agreed a deal that will let Finnair aircraft and crew operate the Flying Kangaroo’s services to Singapore and Bangkok.

The deal will see Finnair’s own pilots and cabin crew operate Qantas-booked A330 flights for the first two-and-a-half years of the agreement, but customers will receive the Flying Kangaroo’s own food and beverage service, amenities, inflight entertainment and baggage allowance.

From late 2025, the aircraft will be fully ‘dry leased’ for up to three years, meaning Qantas pilots and cabin crew will switch to operating the services. Finnair, the national carrier of Finland, currently has eight A330s that have a seating capacity of up to 289. Its latest, OH-LTU, was delivered in October 2010.

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