Wizz Air to operate former Qatar freighter bought by government

Markus Mainka

As Wizz Air Abu Dhabi celebrates the arrival of its first A321neo, its parent airline is about to receive another unexpected Airbus acquisition. The Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade acquired an Airbus A330-200F from Qatar Airways. The freighter would be operated by Wizz Air and see its cargo capacity offered to generate revenue when the government does not need it.

The acquisition of the aircraft by the Hungarian government was motivated by the need for cargo capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic. A civilian operator like Wizz Air would allow for the freighter to receive landing permits more easily than if it was a military aircraft, according to the Ministry quoted by Origo.

Qatar Airways cargo division operated a total of eight Airbus A330-200F that are currently being phased out and replaced by the Boeing 777F. The freighter, registered as A7-AFF according to AIRportal.hu, left the Toulouse final assembly line for Qatar in 2014. It is currently stationed in Doha. The date of its ferry flight to Budapest has not yet been announced. 

The A330-200F can accommodate 70 tons of cargo and has a maximum range of 7,400 kilometers (4,600 miles). According to Airbus’ latest report, 41 A330-200F freighters were ordered, out of which 38 have already been delivered. With a fleet of 9 aircraft, its main operator is Turkish Airlines.

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