Qantas Returns Two A330s to CIT by the End of 2015

8th Jul 2015

Qantas Airways will be two aircraft less by the end of this year as they return two of its Airbus A330-200 planes to CIT Aerospace. The two aircrafts are scheduled for conversion to MRTT (multi-role tanker transports) for the Royal Australian Air Force.

The Department of Defence said they will take full ownership of the planes once they are converted.

The two A330s have designations VH-EBI (MSN 898) and VH-EBH (MSN 892) and will be converted to KC-30A?s, which is the RAAF?s designation for A330 MRTT.

The planes will be converted at Airbus Defence and Space facility in Getafe Spain and will be delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force sometime in 2018.

One Jet Stopped Flying, the Other Still in Operation Till September

According to the Australian carrier, one of the jets, VH-EBH has already been put out of operation and is to be returned to CIT in a few weeks (on 21st July). As for the other plane, VH-EBI, it will continue operating normally until September this year when it too will be returned to CIT on 20th November.

Both aircrafts have General Electric CF6 engines.

Qantas has had the VH-EBH since January 2008, while the carrier received the VH-EBI one month after that.

First Time A330-200 Being Converted for MRTT

According to the manufacturer Airbus, this is the first time A330-200 jets are being converted to MRTT tankers.

The two planes will get new drogue refueling pods below their wings, a refueling boom and, some military gear.

Here?s what Airbus said about the two planes being converted:

?The two extra aircraft for RAAF were exceptional due to their wish to use basic airframes of a specification very close to their existing fleet, and these two Qantas airframes were available. There is no proposal to convert aircraft for any other customer.?

The Department of Defence said the value of this deal is worth AUS$408 million. The MRTT conversion usually takes some 12 months.