Air China, according to reports, will look to sell eight of its Airbus A330-200s to its cargo unit for conversion.
Per Cirium data, the airline has 21 A330-200s in service and 4 in storage, representing 25. Once the eight have been removed, this would leave 17.
Each aircraft departing the airline’s passenger operations will see a price of around US $14.7 million. This would mean the deal would be valued at around US $110 million.
Air China has 468 aircraft in service, representing 76% of its current fleet on books. Twenty-fiveIn addition, aircraft are in storage, which accounts for 4%. The remaining portion of the airline’s fleet centres around aircraft on order.
These A330s are being removed from the airline’s operations as they look towards improving their overall company. In converting these to freighters, they believe they’ll get the best long-term benefit from the units.
Its Airbus A330-200s currently have an average age of around 13 to 15 years, with their oldest sitting around the 17-year mark. Therefore, as Air China assesses the direction they want to move, likely on the chopping board will be older units.
Freighter conversions of passenger aircraft aren’t uncommon. As more units age, it becomes a perfect alternative for companies to keep utilising the series or garner extra cash. For example, air Canada has recently turned its 767-passenger aircraft into freighters. Meanwhile, Qantas has sent an A330 for freight conversion.
More companies are emerging, offering airlines freighter conversion possibilities. Soon passenger-flying 777s will quickly look to be converted, giving these jets an extra lease on life.