SYDNEY, AUSTRALIAAustralian flag carrier Qantas has announced that it would convert two of its Airbus A330 passenger jets into freighters to meet the demand for air cargo.

One of the converted A330s will be operated on the airline's international freight network, while the other will be added to the carrier's dedicated fleet for Australia Post’s domestic parcel and mail transport.

In addition, Qantas Cargo will receive its third Airbus A321P2F freighter this week, which will also operate for Australia Post. The ex-passenger narrowbody jet was previously operated by Jetstar.

The airline said the seating capacity of the two A330s will be replaced by more efficient scheduling on the Qantas passenger network. Qantas will also take delivery of three new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners in 2022.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said the conversion of the two widebody A330 aircraft would significantly increase capacity for both domestic and international freight.

“Our freight business has boomed during the pandemic and while some of that is temporary, COVID has accelerated the permanent expansion of eCommerce and online shopping in this country,” Joyce added.

The aircraft will be converted by Dresden (Germany) based EFW, a joint venture between Airbus and ST Engineering. Conversion work will include removing seats, replacing the existing cabin door with a larger door, and the installation of a cargo handling system.