August 11 - Maximus Air Cargo has taken delivery of the first of three newly converted Airbus A300-600RP2F freighters.
The 46 tonnes maximum payload capacity plane, which arrived in Abu Dhabi this week following completion of a conversion programme in Europe, has a non-stop range of 2650 nautical miles at maximum payload and offers greater fuel efficiency than the older versions of the A300 .
Maximus reveals that it is the world's youngest Airbus passenger aircraft ever to be converted to a freighter and represents the first phase of an aggressive AED350 million (USD95.29 million) expansion programme by the Abu Dhabi-based company.
At a ceremony in Dresden, Germany, Maximus Air Cargo president and CEO, Fathi Hilal Buhazza, formally received the aircraft from Dr Andreas Sperl, president and CEO of EADS EFW, the Centre of Excellence for Airbus passenger-to-freighter conversions within EADS.
"The new aircraft will become a key part of our fleet. It is expected to make a major contribution to building the strength and network of our business," said Buhazza. "The additional capacity will help us significantly expand our footprint in emerging markets such as Asia and Africa, as well as enhancing our worldwide charter services."
Sperl said that by acquiring three more of the popular A300-600RP2F wide-body freighters, Maximus Air Cargo has the best aircraft to meet its growing airfreight demands.
"Welcoming a current operator of our converted freighters again at EADS EFW for further P2F conversions, is the best possible indication of the product's capability and performance," he said at the ceremony.
Buhazza added that the entry into service of the new aircraft comes at a time when there are positive signs that freight traffic is gaining significant momentum in the UAE.
The aircraft joins two other Airbus A300-600RP2F which were also converted at EADS EFW back in 2007.
The second of the three Airbus A300-600RP2F acquired by Maximus in January has already entered the EADS EFW facility and is scheduled for completion in September 2011, while the third (A6-NIN) has arrived in Dresden waiting to enter the production line and is scheduled to enter service by the end of this year.