Mumbai: The Reddy family promoted Flyington Freighters, who are also promoters of one of south India's largest newspaper groups, The Deccan Chronicle and retail chain Odyssey, has selected the Airbus A330-200F freighter for its entire fleet and signed a firm order for six aircraft. The contract was signed on 9 May in Mumbai.
Flyington Freighters Ltd is the launch customer for the A330-200F and will take delivery of its first aircraft in the second half of 2009. The A330-200F is the latest freighter offering from Airbus and also the newest member of the highly successful A330/A340 family. The order is expected to be worth $1 billion in sales for Airbus.
On the sidelines of the signing event, T Venkattram Reddy, chairman, Flyington Freighters Ltd told reporters that the company would not go ahead with an order of freight planes from Boeing. "At this point in time, we are not going ahead with Boeing," he said.
Flyington Freighters will pay US$175 million for each Airbus plane, said Kiran Rao, executive vice-president for marketing and contracts, customer affairs, at Airbus. He also said that the first aircraft would be delivered in December 2009 and the remaining five in the following year.
"We opted for an all Airbus fleet of freighters because the A330-200F offers unbeatably low operating costs and significant operational benefits. The aircraft is new, modern and designed for today's business needs. The aircraft will give Flyington Freighters a solid springboard for success in the rapidly expanding Indian freighter market", said T Venkattram Reddy.
"Flyington Freighters will be India's first international dedicated freighter airline and that coupled with the development of locally based freight operations, will play a big part in the huge growth of the region's cargo market. Flyington Freighters, have chosen a fantastically economical, fuel efficient and productive aircraft that will stand it in good stead. The A330-200 freighter has more lift, more range and better flexibility than any other freighter in its class. We're delighted that Flyington Freighter Ltd is a launch customer," said John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer, customers.
The A330-200F is the only mid-size, long-haul all-cargo aircraft capable of carrying 64 tonnes over 4000 nautical miles / 7400 kilometers in "range mode" configuration, or 69 metric tons up to 3200 nm / 5930 km in "payload mode." The A330-200F also offers 30 per cent more volume than any freighter in its class.
One of the many advantages of the A330-200F design is that it is the first freighter to introduce a versatile main-deck cargo loading system, which can accommodate both pallets and containers, enabling operators to service each of these very different markets.
The A330-200F is a derivative of the very popular A330/A340 family, which has sold more than 1000 aircraft worldwide and has around 100 customers and operators to its credit. It is expected that the large number of A330/A340 aircraft in service will enable a smooth introduction of the new all-cargo variant into existing fleets.
The A330-200F will also benefit from, as all the other Airbus aircraft in production, the now well recognised Airbus Fly-By-Wire technology enabling faster pilot transition to and from other Airbus aircraft, both passenger and freighter.
Airbus is an EADS company.