SmartLynx Airlines Malta (LYX, Malta Int'l) has announced it will add five A330-300 makeshift freighters, converted from passenger aircraft through the removal of seats, with deliveries due by the end of June 2021.

"We understand that eventually, the long-haul cargo market will return to the pre-COVID levels, so SmartLynx Airlines plan to return the Airbus A330 aircraft to operate on long-haul passenger flights once that time comes. We believe that our low-cost structure and great efficiency will allow us to create competition to market veterans," Chief Executive of parent company SmartLynx Airlines Zygimantas Surintas said.

While the airline did not disclose the identity of the five aircraft, four will be dry-leased from CDB Aviation.

The A330s will be SmartLynx's first widebody aircraft. The Maltese airline currently operates one A320-200 and one A321-200, and is due to shortly take two A321-200(P2F)s, which will become the group's first dedicated freighters. The Latvian parent carrier operates three A320-200s and seven A321-200s, while SmartLynx Airlines Estonia (MYX, Tallinn Lennart Meri) operates three A320-200s, the ch-aviation fleets advanced module shows.