Qantas aircraft memorabilia goes under the hammer for charity as widebody jet heads off to begin new life

Published on 13th February 2023 at 11:07

Qantas has held an open house and charity auction of items from the cabin of an Airbus A330 passenger aircraft before it travels overseas to be converted into a dedicated air freighter.

Frequent flyers and aviation enthusiasts were invited to an open house in Qantas’ Hangar 96 at Sydney Airport to inspect and bid on a number of items from the aircraft, including a bar cart, exit signs and a business class suite, to help ensure as much of the aircraft interior is reused, recycled or repurposed as possible.

The auction raised $16,300 for Qantas Pathfinders, a group of current and past Qantas staff which raises funds for NextSense (previously Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children).

After 15 years of safely flying passengers around Australia and overseas, this A330 (VH-EBE Kangaroo Valley) will head to Dresden, Germany, to be converted into a dedicated freighter and will return to Australia as part of the Qantas Freight fleet.

The conversion will be performed by EFW, a specialist joint venture between Airbus and ST Engineering. Conversion work will include full strip-out of the cabin (seats, galleys, toilets), replacing the existing cabin door with a larger freight door and installing a cargo handling system.

Qantas Executive Manager of Freight, Catriona Larritt, said the auction was a fun way to offer enthusiasts their own piece of Qantas history and a creative way to demonstrate Qantas’ commitment to cutting waste to landfill.

“We’re really pleased to give people this unique chance to own a piece of Qantas history and raise money for a great charity. It’s also a nice way to highlight our commitment to minimising waste as part of our sustainability focus.

Kangaroo Valley has done us proud by carrying millions of passengers safely around Australia, Asia and the Pacific for 15 years,” Ms Larritt said.

“In its new adventure as a dedicated freighter it will carry tonnes of imports and exports from fresh flowers and live seafood to thousands of e-commerce parcels and packages.”

Once converted, the A330 will be able to carry up to 50 tonnes of freight on each flight.

The Qantas fleet

The Qantas Group is steadily renewing its domestic and international fleet, with orders and purchase right options for almost 300 aircraft. Eleven new aircraft are scheduled to arrive in 2023 alone.

The new arrivals will see some older passenger aircraft, including two A330s, converted into freighters to help meet increased demand for air cargo that has been fuelled by a sustained increase in e-commerce.

Qantas Freight has a fleet of 18 aircraft and the first of an additional six A321 freighters is scheduled to arrive early next year.

A second A330 is currently undergoing passenger to freighter conversion and is scheduled to join the dedicated Australia Post freight fleet from later this year.

For images from the event, please visit this link.

The Qantas Group’s commitment to sustainability:

  • Qantas was the second airline in the world to commit to net zero emissions by 2050.
  • The Qantas Group Climate Action Plan released in March 2022, commits the airline group to an interim target of 25 per cent emissions reduction by 2030, and a target of zero waste domestically by 2030.
  • In November 2022, Qantas launched the first Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) Coalition in Australia to support the development of a domestic biofuel industry with Macquarie Bank, BCG, KPMG, Woodside and Australia Post as foundation members. Together with Airbus, Qantas has also committed to invest up to US$200 million in development of a domestic SAF industry
  • Jetstar has had four A321LR NEOs enter into service since August 2022. The NEOS burn around 25 per cent less fuel compared to the older aircraft they’ve replaced
  • Qantas’ Fly Carbon Neutral program is one of the largest airline offsetting program in the world, with a focus on high integrity projects in Australia and overseas. Offsetting (along with sustainable aviation fuel) is a key tool in Qantas’ decarbonisation efforts, particularly while alternative aircraft propulsion technology (eg electric) is still many years away