The venerable A300B4 freighter is proudly displayed at the Dubai Airshow
Among the many airplanes in the 2009 Dubai Airshow’s outdoor exhibit area, one stands out as a symbol of the durability and reliability that has become a trademark of Airbus jetliners.
This aircraft is an A300B4 operated by MIDEX Airlines, a new United Arab Emirates carrier that is operating six of these venerable Airbus freighters. The A300 was Airbus’ first production jetliner, becoming the cornerstone for its highly successful family of commercial aircraft. A total of 821 A300s and its shorter-fuselage A310 versions were ordered from Airbus, with many of these still in operation worldwide.
MIDEX Airlines’ business strategy is to provide cargo services linking the Indian subcontinent region with the United Arab Emirates and Europe. The company operates the A300B4-203F version, which has a large forward fuselage cargo door for the loading of pallets, containers and other material on its main deck.
After acquiring the six A300B4s freighters, MIDEX Airlines spent an additional $10 million each to bring them up to top condition – both inside and out.
Operating from Al Ain International Airport near Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the A300B4 freighters are in constant operation on flights between the United Arab Emirates and such destinations as Colombo, Delhi, Dhaka, Karachi and Mumbai, according to MIDEX Airlines Director General Jassim Albastaki. About 30 per cent of this cargo is distributed within the United Arab Emirates, while the remaining 70 per cent is put on MIDEX’ larger freighter aircraft for the trip to the airline’s European cargo hub at Paris’ Orly Airport.
“Our A300B4s are proving to be excellent aircraft that are highly efficient on routes of three to four hours, carrying more than 40 tonnes of cargo each into Al Ain International Airport,” he said. “These are heavy-duty freighters, and I think they are some of the best aircraft to come from the Airbus production line.”
MIDEX Airlines is part of the MIDEX Group, which is a major international freight integrator. The group has acquired a 40 per cent share of the French company, Heuliez, a turnkey developer and producer of niche-market cars and components for automobile manufacturers. Heuliez is now building a series of innovative electric cars, which MIDEX is helping to market for use as airport service vehicles and in other applications. Several of these unique electric cars are displayed on the main cargo deck of MIDEX Airlines’ A300B4 at the Dubai Airshow.