Qantas (QF, Sydney Kingsford Smith) has announced it will convert two of its A330-200s into A330-200(P2F)s to increase its international and domestic cargo capacity, predominantly to meet demand from the e-commerce sector.

The airline said the A330s would be converted by Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW), a joint venture of Airbus and ST Engineering, at Singapore Seletar airport. The first of the pair will enter conversion in August 2022 and is scheduled for re-entry into service as a freighter in mid-2023. The other aircraft will follow shortly thereafter and is scheduled to begin operations in late 2023. The first of the pair will operate on domestic routes for Australia Post, while the other will operate mostly internationally under the Qantas Freight brand.

"Our freight business has boomed during the pandemic and while some of that is temporary, COVID has accelerated the permanent expansion of eCommerce and online shopping in this country. That's why we're working with key partners like Australia Post to respond to this structural change and increase the amount of parcels that we can carry by air to ensure they arrive to people's homes as quickly as possible," Chief Executive Alan Joyce said.

The ch-aviation fleets advanced module shows that Qantas currently operates eighteen A330-200s. ch-aviation understands the airline has yet to identify which two will be converted but will likely choose some of the older airframes. Qantas's A330-200s are 13.6 years old on average, with the oldest currently exceeding 19 years and the youngest being just over nine years of age. The Australian carrier owns ten of the 18 aircraft (including seven of the oldest units) and leases the remaining eight from Avolon (four), Macquarie AirFinance, Zephyrus Aviation Capital, Kestrel Aviation Management, and DAE Capital (one each), the ch-aviation fleets ownership module indicates.

Qantas does not operate any dedicated freighters on its mainline AOC. However, its subsidiary, Express Freighters Australia (QE, Sydney Kingsford Smith), operates two A321-200(P2F)s (with a third due for delivery very shortly), four B737-300(F)s, one B737-400(SF), and one B767-300F. Qantas Freight also wet-leases aircraft from third-party operators, including Airwork Flight Operations, Atlas Air, Cobham Aviation Services Australia - Regional, Nauru Airlines (Australia), Pel-Air Aviation, and Pionair Australia.