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Last week, Etihad Airways launched the very first Airbus A330-200 freighter plane from Toulouse to its Abu Dhabi base. Etihad Airways is the launch customer of the A330-200F which received EASA Type Certification in April. Certification was achieved for a payload capability of 70 tons which was 1 ton more than originally expected. Etihad Airways said its A330-200F can carry up to 64 tons and fly up to 4,598 miles nonstop.
The carrier said its Crystal Cargo unit carried a record 23,000 tons in July. More than 30,000 shipments were carried during the month because the company said that they were “driven by increased volumes from Pakistan, Australia, China and Bangladesh.” For the year to date, it has recorded 21 percent growth in tonnage and 30 percent growth in yield.
In October this year, Etihad Airways is slated to take delivery of a second A330-200F. Prior to taking delivery of the A330-200F, the airline’s freighter fleet were made up of two leased MD-11Fs and two leased A300Fs.
James Hogan, CEO of Etihad Airways, said “The arrival of our new A330-200 freighter marks a new era in Etihad’s cargo services and will support Etihad’s goal to expand that side of the business further. The aircraft will bring us more payloads at a reduced operating cost, and will offer us better connectivity in our flight network, with greater transfer flows.”
The A330-200F aircraft is a much improved and more popular version of the A340-200. It is also the shortened version of the A330-300 and the rival of Boeing’s 767-300ER.
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Last Tuesday, a Lufthansa cargo plane crashed at the Saudi capital’s Riyadh airport leaving no major casualties according to the airline and Saudi’s civil aviation authorities.
A spokesman for the General Authority of Civil Aviation said ”Two crew members were taken to hospital to undergo treatment for minor injuries. The firefighters have contained the fire.” Lufthansa Cargo said in a statement ”The two pilots exited the plane using emergency escape slides.” There were no other crew members on board the cargo plane.
An airport official said the plane veered off a runway on landing, adding ”It did not stop until the Royal Terminal runway. Soon after smoke started to emerge, followed by a fire.”
The MD-11 freighter carrying an 80-tonne load crashed as it was arriving in Riyadh, Lufthansa Cargo said. The MD-11, which has been heavily damaged, was on its way from Frankfurt to Hong Kong via Riyadh and Sharjah. Europe ‘s biggest cargo carrier said it was sending a team of experts to Riyadh to help investigate the cause of the crash.
Authorities have secured the crash site.
The MD-11 is a medium to long-range wide body aircraft based on the DC-10. It has a two-crew cockpit and most airlines have converted their MD-11s to freighters.
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FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and the company that invented overnight shipping 38 years ago, has made international express shipping even faster with the unveiling today of its first Boeing 777 Freighter (777F) during ceremonies with The Boeing Company in Everett, Wash. FedEx Express is the first U.S.-based global all-cargo freight airline to take delivery of the 777F, and has placed the largest order for the aircraft model to date.
“The Boeing 777 is an extraordinary testament to our dedication to fleet enhancement, allowing FedEx Express to provide unmatched services to our customers around the world” said David J. Bronczek, president and chief executive officer, FedEx Express. “Its payload capacity, range and environmental efficiencies create well-rounded, long-term strategic value for our company in meeting the global shipping demands of customers.”
Introduction of the 777F to the FedEx fleet of more than 650 aircraft expands what is already the world’s largest cargo airline. Its international routes will provide service benefits to customers and enhance the efficiency of the FedEx Express global network.
The 777F is the world’s largest twin-engine cargo aircraft. Its flight range, the equivalent of about 6,675 land miles, or nearly three times the approximate distance between the east and west coasts of the U.S., is the longest of any two-engine freighter, with a payload capacity of 215,000 pounds (98 metric tons).
This represents an increase in range of more than 2,400 miles and an additional 14,000pounds of payload over the MD-11 freighter, which until now has been the primary long-haul aircraft in the company’s fleet.
The global freighter’s range enables FedEx Express to fly between major markets and hubs in Asia, Europe and the U.S. with more freight and in less time than it takes today, allowing latercut-off times for customers in the markets to drop off their shipments. For example, 777F transit times from points in Asia to the U.S. will be from one to three hours faster than those of the MD-11.
By April 2010, FedEx Express plans to have four 777Fs serving routes between Asia and the U.S. In all, there will be 15 777Fs in the company’s fleet by the end of fiscal 2014; FedEx Express also has a second order of 15 777Fs, which will be delivered between fiscal 2014 and fiscal 2019, and holds options on 15 more 777Fs.