EFW secures Vallair as launch customer for A321P2F programme

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Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW) has secured a launch contract from Vallair Solutions for its Airbus A321 passenger-to-freighter (P2F) conversion.

EFW, a joint venture between ST Aerospace and Airbus will convert 10 A321-200 passenger aircraft to 14-pallet cargo configuration with the first aircraft being inducted in the last quarter of 2018, scheduled for redelivery by the end of 2019.

The A321P2F programme is the first in its size category to offer containerised loading in both the main deck, with space for up to 14 container positions, and the lower deck of up to 10 positions.

Vallair president and chief executive officer (CEO), Gregoire Lebigot says: “Today, we see a huge potential in the A321 P2F, not only as a replacement of the B757F, but as a key tool for the cargo industry to achieve the projected growth rate of the air freight market in general – in particular driven by express services and e-commerce.

“The A321 P2F will be the first aircraft to introduce a containerised lower deck to the market segment of narrow body freighters: a significant game changer for any hub and spoke operation.”

EFW CEO, Dr Andreas Sperl says: “Together with our parent company, ST Aerospace and its global network of maintenance facilities, we are confident we will achieve the high standards of service we have demonstrated over the years on all of our other conversion programmes, and deliver to Vallair its A321P2F aircraft, on time and budget, to their full satisfaction.”

ST Aerospace president, Lim Serh Ghee adds: “As the e-commerce and express market continue to grow, our investments in new freighter conversion programmes will allow us to seize the opportunities created by the uptick in freighter demand.

“While offering a strong proposition with its unique container position in the lower deck, the A321P2F will also complement our other freighter solutions such as the mid-sized A330P2F programme, to provide customers with a range of options to select from in support of their diverse operational needs.”