Qantas Receives Second A330 For Tanker Conversion

Brisbane, 25 June 2009

Qantas today took delivery of the second Airbus A330-200 aircraft it is converting to a Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT).

Qantas Defence Services was awarded the contract in 2005 by Airbus Military to convert four A330-200 aircraft to MRTTs for delivery to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). This will be the third A330 to commence conversion. The first aircraft - an Airbus Military-designed prototype - is currently completing final flight testing in Madrid, Spain.

Group Executive Qantas Airlines Operations, Mr Lyell Strambi, said the conversion project would provide the RAAF with air-to-air refuelling capability for their entire fleet.

"The second A330-200 for conversion touched down in Brisbane at 10.30 this morning after ferrying from Airbus Military's facility in Madrid," Mr Strambi said.

Mr Strambi said that Qantas' A330 capability in Brisbane was extensive, with the conversion program complementing the recent announcement that Heavy Maintenance on the growing Qantas fleet of A330 aircraft would be moved onshore to Brisbane Hangar 3 from early 2010.

"Our extensive experience in the operation and maintenance of our own A330 passenger fleet ensures the very best skills and expertise are available for the conversion and future maintenance support for the RAAF's tanker fleet," he said.

"We're proud to have a strong operational presence in Queensland, providing rewarding jobs doing important work.

"Our long-term contract to provide support for the five MRTT aircraft once they are operational will require a significant ongoing Qantas presence at RAAF Base Amberley."

The conversions will be performed at the Australian Conversion Centre at Qantas' Hangar 1 facility at Brisbane Airport. The first A330 converted by Qantas, which commenced in June 2008, is due for completion later this year.

Qantas Defence Services' conversion project employs 240 people at Brisbane Airport and the RAAF Base Amberley.

The RAAF's air-to-air refuelling was previously performed by Boeing 707 tanker aircraft.

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (3934)