July 18 - The conversion of a new Airbus A300-600 regional freighter, purchased by Maximus Air Cargo at the start of this year, and part of a of AED350 million (USD92.2million) expansion programme, is on schedule for its mid-summer entry into the company'

The aircraft, offering a maximum structural payload up to 46 tonnes of payload capacity, is one of three purchased from Japan Airlines (JAL) and has been at the Dresden, Germany plant of EADS EFW, where the complex adaptation process is now nearing completion.

According to Maximus Air Cargo president and ceo, Fathi Hilal Buhazza its entry into operations will significantly boost the airline's operational capabilities.

"When it arrives back in Abu Dhabi in August, the aircraft, built in 2002 will be the youngest aircraft ever to be converted from a passenger plane to a freighter," he explains. "In today's competitive market environment customers look to suppliers for reliability and cost effectiveness, and this will provide both increased reliability and being more fuel efficient than the older variant of A300-600, we can reduce our operating costs and pass savings on to customers.

"Moreover the high utility and high efficiency of this aircraft will help open the next exciting chapter of our development by further facilitating the dual business model of cargo charter and ACMI lease solutions, and will strengthen our organizational readiness for the future."

Andreas Sperl, President and CEO of EADS EFW said: "The aircraft was in outstanding condition before the conversion. Therefore maintenance and conversion ran as scheduled."