Airbus said on Tuesday that it is renting out its massive Beluga aircraft to third parties.
The whale-shaped planes are typically employed to transport major aircraft parts, such as wings and fuselage sections, between the company’s European plants.
Airbus is launching Airbus Beluga Transport, a new airline that will fly huge goods for space, oil and gas businesses, and armies.
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.