Corrected – Hawaiian Holdings, the parent company of Hawaiian Airlines, will operate ten Airbus A330-300P2F freighters for Amazon Prime Air. The aircraft will be delivered in the fall of 2023, Hawaiian and Amazon announced on October 21. Hawaiian Airlines to operate A330 freighters for Amazon Prime.

“Hawaiian will maintain and fly Amazon’s A330s under Hawaiian’s FAA air carrier certificate to move cargo between airports near the online retailer’s operations facilities. The initial ten aircraft will enter into service in 2023 and 2024. The agreement also contemplates the ability to expand the fleet depending on Amazon’s future business needs,” the airline says in a media statement.

Airbus issued a separate press release, saying that Hawaiian will lease the A330 freighters from Altavair. They will be converted by the joint Airbus/ST Engineering joint venture Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW) in Dresden (Germany). EFW has been converting A330-300S for quite a few years now but delivered the first A330-200P2F in January to Altavair for onward lease to MasAir Cargo in Mexico. The lessor had placed orders for eleven -300s and six -200s. In April, Mas took delivery of another -300P2F on lease from CDB Leasing, which in total has fourteen aircraft on order. EFW also has an order from Qantas for two -200P2Fs and from Air Transport Services Group (ATSG) for 29 A330-300P2Fs.

That the A330 is gaining popularity as a converted freighter was confirmed by EFW on October 7, when it announced a new collaboration with Turkish Technics to open a conversion line in Istanbul in Q3 2023. “We have a growing P2F order book which mirrors a strong market demand for Airbus freighter conversions, with the A330P2F program being increasingly considered as the preferred next-generation platform in the medium to widebody category,” said EFW CEO Jordi Boto. EFW is not the only company converting A330s. A dedicated program was launched in October 2021 by lessor Avolon and Israel Aerospace Industries but deliveries will not start until 2025.

Since launching its own e-commerce airline, Prime Air has grown its fleet to 88 aircraft, including five ATR 72s, 28 Boeing 737-800BCFs, and 55 767-300BCFs. All are operated by other airlines, like Atlas Air, Air Transport International, Cargojet Airlines, or ASL Airlines. Most 767 conversions have been done by IAI, but the 767 feedstock today is thinning rapidly. Indeed, we were told the issue is not just 767-300ERs, but the desire is for CF-6 power.  This is why so many of Amazon’s Prime fleet is ex-American Airlines.

(This story has been corrected and updated with new information)

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Co-Founder AirInsight. My previous life includes stints at Shell South Africa, CIC Research, and PA Consulting. Got bitten by the aviation bug and ended up an Avgeek. Then the data bug got me, making me a curious Avgeek seeking data-driven logic. Also, I appreciate conversations with smart people from whom I learn so much. Summary: I am very fortunate to work with and converse with great people.

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