Logistics giant DHL Express has ordered four converted Airbus jets for its cargo fleet with an option to buy a further 10, it announced yesterday.
The aircraft are A330-300 passenger jets that are being modified to carry freight by German aviation firm Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW), a subsidiary of Singapore Technologies Aerospace and Airbus.
The contract is the second from DHL Express after it ordered four similar A330-300 planes last July.
The first aircraft under that initial contract is undergoing conversion at EFW's facilities in Dresden, Germany, and is on track to be ready by the end of this year.
EFW is ramping up its capacity at its Dresden facilities in order to take on the expanded conversion programme for DHL Express.
ST Aerospace's global network of facilities will also be utilised for some of the conversions to ensure timely deliveries and to handle increasing demand.
Conversion work on the second aircraft under last July's order is set to begin at ST Aerospace's Paya Lebar facility. It is scheduled to be delivered by the end of this year or early next year.
ST Aerospace president Lim Serh Ghee said the second contract from DHL Express underscores the right decision that ST Aerospace, Airbus and EFW had made in 2012 to launch the conversion programme.
"We are confident that the aircraft will be an invaluable part of DHL Express's global aviation fleet and serve the air cargo market well," he added.
DHL Express is EFW's first customer for the A330-300 conversion programme, launched in 2012 as a collaboration between ST Aerospace, Airbus and EFW.
EFW chief executive Andreas Sperl noted: "We are very proud to further our partnership with our launch customer, DHL Express, with another contract even before the first re-delivery from the first contract has been made.
"This reflects the confidence that DHL Express has in our programme and the viability of our conversion solution, which marries the deep operational and engineering expertise that ST Aerospace and EFW have accumulated over the years as an integrated solutions provider."