DHL Worldwide Express is to invest about US$125 million to convert seven Airbus A300B4 passenger aircraft to freighters. The air-express distributor, which has chosen British Aerospace Aviation Services to carry out the conversion work, expects the converted aircraft to enter its US fleet over the next two years. The contract includes heavy maintenance and conversion on all aircraft, as well as a full repaint. 'This is a significant fleet expansion and the first wide-body aircraft introduced into DHL's US network,' said Patrick Foley, chairman and chief executive of DHL Airways. DHL investment in the A300 acquisition and conversion programme would increase substantially the company's daily load capacity, he said. The conversion process will begin in February and continue to March 2001, with the first A300 entering DHL's fleet in July. As the first Airbus and wide-body aircraft to enter the US fleet, the slot selection process for conversions would be based on DHL's pilot and mechanic training schedules.