CDB Aviation Advances A330 P2F Strategy with New Conversion Order and Freighter Introduction in China

Expansion Strengthens Lessor’s Position as Market Leader in Fast-Growing Air Cargo Segment

  • Orders twelve more conversions from Elbe Flugzeugwerke GmbH (“EFW”), bringing the A330 P2F fleet to fourteen aircraft
  • Launches the A330-300 P2F type in China, backed by new leases with Sichuan Airlines and Jiangxi Cargo Airlines
  • Debuts first A330 P2F conversions to be performed in Shanghai, China, and Mobile, Alabama, U.S.A.
  • Becomes the largest lessor of EFW-converted A330 P2Fs

SINGAPORE--()--CDB Aviation, a wholly owned Irish subsidiary of China Development Bank Financial Leasing Co., Limited (“CDB Leasing”), appearing today on the sidelines of Singapore Air Show, detailed new developments in its A330 passenger-to-freighter (“A330 P2F”) strategy and related commercial activity.

Advancing its already leading position in the A330 P2F conversion segment, CDB Aviation committed to an additional twelve conversions with EFW, expanding its A330 P2F fleet to fourteen aircraft. Moreover, the lessor is on pace to launch the A330-300 P2F freighter type in China in 2022, with lease commitments from Sichuan Airlines and Jiangxi Cargo Airlines.

“We have strategically positioned our platform to be the A330 P2F program frontrunner among lessors,” commented Patrick Hannigan, CDB Aviation’s Chief Executive Officer, adding that the A330 P2F marked the lessor’s first entry into the air cargo space. “We’re very satisfied with this program’s progress and momentum to date and look forward to further expanding our freighter fleet in collaboration with our partners at Airbus, ST Engineering, and EFW.”

CDB Aviation was one of the first lessors to secure conversion commitments for the A330 P2F, contracting two initial conversions with EFW in November 2020. With this latest order, the company will become the largest lessor of EFW-converted A330 P2Fs, with a total of fourteen aircraft in its fleet.

“The A330 P2F continues to gain traction as the preferred next-generation type in the fast-growing Medium Widebody Freighter space. It is delivering to cargo operators the most advanced fly-by-wire technology, increased volumetric capacity for today’s less dense freight, reduced fuel consumption, a lower environmental footprint, and the benefits of Airbus fleet commonality,” added Hannigan.

“We are proud to have leading lessor CDB Aviation on board, growing its orders for A330 P2Fs,” said Andreas Sperl, EFW’s Chief Executive Officer. “The A330 P2F program is proving highly popular, and we now have over eighty aircraft on order. EFW is leading the overall A330 P2F program, which is a collaboration between ST Engineering, Airbus, and EFW. To ensure we can meet the rising demand for freighter conversions, EFW and ST Engineering are in the process of ramping up their conversion capacity.”

CDB Aviation’s first two A330 P2Fs are currently being converted in EFW’s facility in Dresden, Germany, and will be re-delivered to its launch operator, Mexico-based MasAir, in early 2022.

CDB Aviation has contracted three more placements with two new customers: Sichuan Airlines and Jiangxi Cargo Airlines.

Chengdu-based Sichuan Airlines has leased two A330-300 P2Fs, which will join the carrier’s existing freighter fleet of three A330-200Fs upon delivery in late 2022 and the middle of 2023. The lease transaction marks the first time that Sichuan Airlines will operate the A330-300 P2F type. These aircraft will provide the carrier with additional freighter capacity to meet the rapidly expanding cargo demand, further strengthening its transport and logistics business.

Jiangxi Cargo Airlines, a new Nanchang-based start-up cargo carrier, created through a joint venture between the Jiangxi Provincial Government and privately-owned Hongyuan Group, has leased one A330-300 P2F to be delivered in early 2023. Being the first cargo carrier owned and supported by the provincial government, Jiangxi Cargo Airlines sees the A330 P2F as the perfect fit for its future cargo strategy, providing a foothold for the airline to expand its market share.

“We’re delighted to welcome Sichuan Airlines and Jiangxi Cargo Airlines to our growing list of A330-300 P2F operators, marking the type’s first application in China,” said Peter Goodman, CDB Aviation’s Chief Marketing Officer. “We know the aircraft will be a superb addition to both these carriers as they grow their business to serve the country’s rapidly expanding air cargo demand.”

In 2022, CDB Aviation will expand its global conversion footprint by becoming the first customer for A330 P2F conversions to take place in the facilities of ST Engineering in Shanghai, China, and VT MAE in Mobile, Alabama, U.S.A. These conversion locations have been added to the existing A330 P2F conversion facilities of EFW in Dresden, Germany, and ST Engineering in Singapore. By the middle of 2022, the lessor plans to have aircraft converted simultaneously at three locations – in Dresden, Shanghai, and Mobile. EFW is a joint venture of ST Engineering and Airbus.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements, beliefs or opinions, including with respect to CDB Aviation’s business, financial condition, results of operations or plans. CDB Aviation cautions readers that no forward-looking statement is a guarantee of future performance and that actual results or other financial condition or performance measures could differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements can be identified by the fact that they do not relate only to historical or current facts. Forward-looking statements sometimes use words such as “may”, “will”, “seek”, “continue”, “aim”, “anticipate”, “target”, “projected”, “expect”, “estimate”, “intend”, “plan”, “goal”, “believe”, “achieve” or other terminology or words of similar or analogous meaning. These statements are based on the current beliefs and expectations of CDB Aviation's management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Accordingly, you should not rely upon forward-looking statements as a prediction of actual results and we do not assume any responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of any of these forward-looking statements. Except as required by applicable law, we do not undertake any obligation to, and will not, update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

About CDB Aviation

CDB Aviation is a wholly owned Irish subsidiary of China Development Bank Financial Leasing Co., Limited (“CDB Leasing”), a 36-year-old Chinese leasing company that is backed mainly by the China Development Bank. CDB Aviation is rated Investment Grade by Moody’s (A1), S&P Global (A), and Fitch (A+). China Development Bank is under the direct jurisdiction of the State Council of China and is the world’s largest development finance institution. It is also the largest Chinese bank for foreign investment and financing cooperation, long-term lending and bond issuance, enjoying Chinese sovereign credit rating.

CDB Leasing is the only leasing arm of the China Development Bank and a leading company in China’s leasing industry that has been engaged in aircraft, infrastructure, ship, commercial vehicle and construction machinery leasing and enjoys a Chinese sovereign credit rating. It took an important step in July 2016 to globalize and marketize its business – listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX STOCK CODE: 1606).


Media contact: Paul Thibeau; +1 612 594 9844