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Airbus on Tuesday said it is renting out its giant Beluga aircraft to outside customers.
The whale-shaped planes are usually used to transport large aircraft parts for its planes like wings and fuselage sections between its factories in Europe. Airbus is forming a new airline called Airbus Beluga Transport to fly large cargo for space, oil and gas companies and militaries.
Philippe Sabo, Head of Airbus Transport International, said: “The aircraft were designed for 30,000 flight cycles. And today, on average, they have only flown 15,000 flight cycles. They are at their midlife, so we expect [another] 15 to 20 years of operations from them.”
“ATI [Airbus Transport International, the manufacturer’s current outsize cargo division] will start the operation, and will be the first step of this new business model. Then, in 2023 we will have the creation of a new airline,” he added.