ST Engineering and Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW) have re-delivered the ‘head of version’ Airbus A320 Passenger-to-Freighter (A320P2F) aircraft to launch customer, Vaayu Group (Vaayu) today at ST Engineering’s airframe facility in Singapore. This A320P2F aircraft is owned by the aviation asset management business of ST Engineering, and is the first of several converted freighter aircraft that will be leased to Vaayu.
The re-delivery marks the birth of the world’s first A320P2F and completion of the Airbus P2F family developed jointly by ST Engineering, Airbus and EFW. It joins the other already operational Airbus P2F platforms, the A330-300P2F, A330-200P2F and A321P2F, which were first redelivered in 2017, 2018 and 2020 respectively. The A320P2F is the second variant in the Airbus narrowbody P2F solutions. Similar to the A321P2F, the A320P2F was developed using original OEM data from Airbus which makes the design all the more robust and reliable. As the centre of excellence for Airbus P2F conversions, EFW leads the overall programme as well as marketing and sales efforts.
“With this re-delivery, our Airbus P2F family of narrowbody and widebody freighters is finally complete,” said Jordi Boto, CEO of EFW. “This comes at a ripe time as demand for converted freighters continues to surge. Our full suite of Airbus P2F solutions will serve to meet the current gap and future growth of the air freight market, while offering excellent choices and benefits to airlines looking to grow a diverse fleet of freighter aircraft with operating commonality.”
The current global Airbus A320 passenger fleet comprises thousands of aircraft, offering a wide selection and fitting options for airlines and leasing companies wanting to invest in converted freighters. The A320P2F can accommodate up to 10 [ULD] containers and one pallet position in the main deck, and seven container positions in the lower deck. Given its gross payload of up to 21 tonnes at a maximum range of 1,850nm and total usable containerised volume of 159 cu m (approx. 5,600 cu ft), the freighter aircraft has 85% stowage efficiency. This makes the A320P2F an ideal freighter platform to serve the fast-growing ecommerce market globally.
Similar to the two variant narrowbody A320P2F freighter, the widebody A330P2F freighter also comes in two variants – the A330-200P2F and A330-300P2F. The A330-200P2F can carry a gross payload of up to 61 tonnes for over 7,700km, while the A330-300P2F offers a gross payload of up to 63 tonnes and a containerised volume of up to 526m3 (approx. 18,580ft3). This helps to bring a new paradigm of efficiency with 23% more cargo volume than other freighter aircraft in the same class.
To meet the rising demand for freighter conversions, ST Engineering and EFW set up new conversion sites in China and the U.S. this year, and will be ramping up conversion capacity for all their Airbus P2F programmes to over 60 slots per year by 2024.
As the latest member of the Airbus P2F family to take to the sky, the ‘head of version’ A320P2F aircraft will enter into service for Pradhaan Air Express, a new all-cargo airline in India and a sub-lessee of Vaayu.
Emad Al Monayea, chairman of Vaayu Group, said, “With this redelivery, we expect the world’s first A320P2F to provide an efficient and credible freighter solution to our customers that are looking to leverage the current and forecast demand in air freight growth. We are pleased that our partnership with ST Engineering, EFW and Airbus has created aviation history in the Indian market by placing the aircraft with Pradhaan Air Express.”
“The world’s first A320P2F for the Indian market will secure dedicated cargo capacity boosting more self-reliance. Getting the world’s first A320 converted freighter to India is like a dream come true. A second aircraft will be inducted by the end of this year with plans for further fleet expansion,” said Nipun Anand, CEO and founder, Pradhaan Air Express.