Category Archives: QANTAS Freight

World’s first Airbus A321P2F enters revenue service with QANTAS

ST Engineering, Airbus and their joint venture, Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW) achieved a key milestone in their joint A321 passenger-to-freighter (P2F) conversion program in September this year with the re-delivery of the ‘head of version’ to launch customer, Vallair. The Airbus A321 converted freighter, operated by QANTAS Airways for Australia Post, entered into service on October 27, 2020.

Both milestones marked the completion and ‘birth’ of the world’s first A321 converted freighter. EFW had received the original Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for the A321P2F from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in February this year, and the Validation STC from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration in July. Operator specific enhancements were subsequently incorporated into the freighter and certified prior to its re-delivery.


The A321P2F is the first in its size category to offer containerised loading in both the main (up to 14 full container positions) and lower deck (up to 10 container positions). With a generous payload-range capability that can above 28 metric tons (more than 61,800 lbs) over 2,300 nautical miles, the A321P2F is the ideal narrowbody freighter aircraft for express domestic and regional operations. The conversion features a large main cargo door which is hydraulically actuated and electrically locked, a Class E cargo compartment with full rigid 9g barrier for optimal protection between crew and cargo, and a redefined flight deck that includes supernumerary seats and a new lavatory.

The collaboration between ST Engineering, Airbus and EFW is the only OEM solution for A321P2F in the market. EFW, which is leading the overall programme as well as marketing & sales efforts, has been seeing a keen interest in the solution, which is expected to further grow with the first A321P2F unit entering the market. To meet rising demand for dedicated freighter aircraft, ST Engineering and EFW are planning to set up additional modification sites in China, Germany and the U.S. by 2023 to ramp up conversion capacity to about 23 slots per year.

Atlas Air to operate two Boeing 747-8F freighters for QANTAS Freight

QANTAS Airways has made this announcement:

QANTAS Freight has welcomed a new addition to its fleet with the first of two Boeing 747-8F freighter aircraft touching down in Sydney today.

The next generation freighters will be operated by Atlas Air, on behalf of QANTAS. Each aircraft offers 20 percent more freight capacity and space for seven extra cargo pallets compared to the 747-400F.

The two freighters will operate between Australia, China and the USA with additional routes currently being explored. The second 747-8F aircraft will enter service later this week.

While the aircraft will be painted in Atlas Air livery, the QANTAS Freight logo will be displayed on either side of the nose and underneath the freighters’ nose cargo door.

The 747-8’s iconic nose door allows easier loading of oversized cargo and helps achieve faster turnaround times.

The arrival of the new aircraft follows QANTAS Freight’s announced of a new seven-year agreement with Australia Post to enhance the domestic network. The new agreement, worth more than $1 billion, also paves the way for up to three A321 passenger to freighter aircraft join the fleet from October 2020.

QANTAS Freight: Long haul, short haul… shopping haul?

QANTAS Freight-Express Freighters Australia Boeing 767-381F ER VH-EFR (msn 33510) SYD (Micheil Keegan). Image: 907902.

By QANTAS Airways:

There are no window seats on this QANTAS flight. In fact, there are no windows…not that you’d see much anyway.

It only flies after dark.

Last night, while you were sleeping, QANTAS transported over 240,000 kilograms of shirts, suits, sunnies, socks, shoes – and much more – across our domestic freight network.

Freight is a key part of our business, and over the last few years, global demand has strengthened off the back of online shopping mania.

We move about 55 million kilograms of items a year, from clothing to Formula 1 racing cars to helicopters. (We flew a rhinoceros across the Tasman Sea once, too.)

You can probably guess which month is our busiest.

In the lead up to Christmas, we’ll ship about three million kilograms worth of items.

Thankfully, around this time, we operate a codeshare with a North Pole, sleigh-bound freighter that is known for its extraordinary capacity and speed.

Today, QANTAS Freight is Australia’s leading cargo carrier and cargo terminal operator with a fleet of dedicated freighters as well as being able to use the belly space of our passenger services to get your online shopping to your door.

And this week we announced that two next generation 747-8F – the most efficient freighter aircraft in service – will join our fleet, operated by our good mates Atlas Air*, servicing cargo hubs in China and the US.

Our freighter fleet also includes a Boeing 767-300 ER and five 737s.

We also use four BAe 146-300 jet freighters known as the “curfew busters” from our colleagues at Cobham.  This aircraft is allowed to operate a limited number of services during the night to busy capital city airports because of the low noise levels they generate. And the fact they usually avoid flying over residential areas on approach to landing.

Our domestic freighter network operates four nights a week from Monday to Thursday and because there’s no mail deliveries on Saturdays, there’s no need for Friday night flying. But mail is also transported in the belly space of our passenger flights to make sure the post arrives in time on Mondays.

The QANTAS Freight team from aircraft loaders to the pilots who fly them are perhaps the unsung heroes of e-commerce.

They keep our economy ticking, our couriers busy, and our wardrobes full.

Next time you’re at the airport, keep an eye out for the window-less flying kangaroo.

*subject to government and regulatory approval

Top Copyright Photo: QANTAS Freight-Express Freighters Australia Boeing 767-381F ER VH-EFR (msn 33510) SYD (Micheil Keegan). Image: 907902.

QANTAS Freight aircraft slide show:

Domestic Route Map:

International Route Map: