Qantas’ latest A330 that it has converted into a freighter touched down in Melbourne on Sunday, following its renovation.
VH-EBE flew its last commercial passenger flight in February this year before heading to Dresden in Germany for its upgrade to become a P2F (passenger to freighter).
Australian Aviation’s Victor Pody was in the Victorian capital to shoot the moment it arrived.
The Flying Kangaroo is investing in its freighter division after it enjoyed a “record performance” in the first half of FY2022, due to an increased demand for e-commerce, higher international yields driven by supply chain disruption, and reduced capacity on passenger flights.
The 16-year-old aircraft, named Kangaroo Valley, departed Dresden on 19 December as flight QF7532 and landed in Australia at 10:06 on Sunday via a stopover in Busan in South Korea.
It’s the second of the Flying Kangaroo’s widebody aircraft recently transformed into an A330P2F, with the first arriving in October to join the dedicated Australia Post freight fleet.
The conversion was performed by EFW, a specialist joint venture between Airbus and ST Engineering.
The work included a complete strip out of the cabin (seats, galleys, toilets), replacing the existing cabin door with a larger freight door and installing a cargo handling system. It can now carry up to 50 tonnes of freight on each flight.
In February, Qantas’ then-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.”
Alongside the A330s, Qantas plans to create nine new A321 P2Fs, taking its final fleet to 12.
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.
Finally, 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.