Airbus Transport International

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Airbus Transport International
Logo von Airbus
Airbus A300-600ST Beluga der Airbus Transport International
IATA code: 4Y
ICAO code: BGA[1]
Call sign: BELOUGA[1]
Foundation: 1996
Seat: Blagnac, FranceFrankreich France
Home base: Toulouse-Blagnac Airport
Fleet Strength: 7 (+ 4 orders)
Objectives: within Europe

Airbus Transport International is a French cargo airline headquartered in Blagnac and based at Toulouse-Blagnac airport. It is a subsidiary of Airbus, moving mostly company-owned aircraft parts between its various production sites in Europe.


Airbus Transport International was established in 1996 to coincide with the entry into service of the new Airbus A300-600ST Beluga wide-body transport aircraft.[2] Its primary activity is the transport of pre-assembled components such as fuselage sections and wings for the production of Airbus aircraft between Airbus production sites

Meanwhile, Airbus Transport International aircraft can also be chartered. The German Armed Forces, for example, have made use of this option to transport NH90 and Eurocopter Tiger helicopters to Australia, and ESA to transport ISS modules to the Kennedy Space Center.[3][4][5]

In November 2014, a fleet renewal was announced due to the aging Airbus A300-600ST Beluga fleet. A new model based on the A330-200 is being developed to replace the A300-600ST. At first, a version of the Airbus A330-300 was up for selection, but was subsequently discarded because the runway at Airbus’ Chester facility would be too short. The first Airbus Beluga XL joined the existing fleet in mid-2019.[6]

In April 2019, the plan for the fleet was increased from five to six units. The complete commissioning is scheduled to take place by 2023.[7]


Airbus A300-600ST in 1998 with open cargo hatch

As of October 2020, Airbus Transport International’s fleet consists of 7 freighters with an average age of 17.0 years:[8]

Aircraft type Number ordered[7] Notes Capacity[9]
(in t)
Airbus A300-600ST Beluga 5 Parallel use until delivery of all Beluga XL, then decommissioning 47
Airbus A330-700L Beluga XL 2 4 First in regular service on 9 January 2020, with the remaining five to follow by 2023.[10] 53
Total 7 4

See also

  • List of airlines

Web links

Individual references

  1. a b Designators for Aircraft Operating Agencies, Aeronautical Authorities and Services. Doc 8585. 180th ed. International Civil Aviation Organization, 2017, ISBN 978-92-9258-209-8, ISSN 1014-0123, 1-15 ( English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Chinese).
  2. Airbus – Airbus celebrates first flight of “Beluga” twenty years ago, 12 September 2014(Memento of 15 October 2016 in the Internet Archive)
  3. Thomas H. Wendel:Flying whale for the Bundeswehr.Airbus Beluga to transport military helicopters. in: text archive. Berliner Zeitung, 15 May 2004, retrieved 12 November 2010.
  4. European-built ISS module welcomed to, 12 June 2009, retrieved 12 November 2010 (English).
  5. European Astronaut Center in Cologne gets ATV training, 1 May 2003, retrieved 12 November 2010.
  6. Airbus – Beluga XL programme achieves design freeze, 16 September 2015, retrieved 6 May 2017
  7. a b Airbus’ internal transport network takes an “X-tra” step with the BelugaXL.Airbus, April 9, 2019, retrieved May 17, 2019 (English).
  8. Airbus Transport International Fleet Details and History.Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  9. Airbus – Beluga A300-600ST
    (English), retrieved on 2 May 2017
  10. Beluga XL: Airbus’ giant whale enters service.In: aeroTELEGRAPH. 13 January 2020, retrieved on 13 January 2020 (Swiss High German).