The Mexican freighter airline MasAir is Airbus’ launch customer of the A330-200P2F (passenger-to-freighter) in the Americas, it was announced today. For MasAir, the country’s largest freighter airline, the reception of the converted aircraft represents a milestone going forward.
Airbus delivered today the first A330-200P2F of the Americas to Aerotransportes Mas de Carga (simply known as MasAir, on lease from Altavair. Therefore, MasAir became the first North and South American airline to fly this converted freighter.
Altavair received the aircraft last month.
Following the reception of this aircraft, MasAir now has a fleet of four units, including three Boeing 767 freighters (a couple of the -300 variant and one -200).
The German company Elbe Flugzeugwerke GmbH (a joint venture between Airbus and ST Engineering) converted the aircraft, which now has the registration EI-MYY. Previously it flew with Etihad Airways and Saudi Arabian Airlines.
During the reception of the new aircraft, Luis Sierra, MasAir’s CEO, said:
“Mas will take advantage of the increased payload and range of the A330 to expand our global presence, increasing flights to Europe and South America and starting to fly into China. The A330P2F’s reliability and reduced environmental impact make it the ideal aircraft for mas to succeed in the global cargo market.”
The A330-200P2F is an aircraft that can carry up to 61 metric tonnes of cargo and fly with a range of up to 4,200 nautical miles. As a competitor in the booming freighter market, the A330-200P2F is no match to the new Airbus A350F or the Boeing 777F. Instead, it fares better against the 767-300F, as analyzed in Air Insight’s recent comparison. The aircraft has up to ten tonnes more payload capacity.
Arturo Barreira, President of Airbus Latin America and the Caribbean, said:
“The A330-200P2F will provide mas with a highly-efficient operation thanks to its greater payload and range capability. Its optimized fuselage cross-section offers flexibility to carry a wide variety of pallet and container sizes. Airbus is confident that the A330-200P2F will successfully support mas’ expansion plans.”
While operating cargo aircraft since 1992, MasAir has been running strong, particularly in the last few years. In 2018, it received new ownership and management with Discovery Americas (a private equity fund in Mexico). Since, the aircraft has received the three Boeing 767F and, yesterday, the A330-200P2F.
Moreover, MasAir was Mexico’s largest cargo carrier in 2021, surpassing Grupo Aeromexico and having a 10.6 percent market share.
Last year, MasAir carried over 103,000 tons of cargo. The airline also expects to receive additional A330-300P2F aircraft in 2022, increasing its capacity, reach, and efficiency.
In the next few years, MasAir aims to operate cargo flights to China (last year, it obtained certification to fly there). Last July, MasAir flew some charter flights to Shanghai, getting its feet wet in the new market.
Looking into the Chinese market is a direct response from MasAir to Mexico’s current limitations in the United States due to the country’s Category 2 status.
The airline’s CEO said last year:
“Precisely these limitations are a clear example that we need to diversify our markets. Air markets are all unilateral and have variations or natural seasons; it is not convenient to have a high dependence on a single market or route because it can change quickly without notice. Ideally, a portfolio of routes and products makes any airline more stable.”
Daniel Martínez Garbuno is a Mexican journalist. He has specialized in the air industry working mainly for A21, a Mexican media outlet focused entirely on the aviation world. He has also published on other sites like Simple Flying, Roads & Kingdoms, Proceso, El Economista, Buzos de la Noticia, Contenido, and Notimex.