Singapore - Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW), a joint venture between Airbus and ST Aerospace, has won an order from Vallair to convert ten A321-200 to the freighter.
It's the first order for the A321P2F program. The agreement was announced on February 7, at the Singapore Airshow. EFW will start working on the first aircraft in the fourth quarter of 2018 and deliver it to Vallair at the end of 2019, according to the agreement.
Gregoire Lebigot, CEO of Vallair, said that his company sees huge potential in the A321P2F, not only as an alternative to the Boeing 757F but also as a key tool to enable the freight industry to achieve the expected growth, driven by the development of express services and e-commerce.
The A321P2F will be the first narrow-body aircraft to have a containerized lower deck, which will significantly change the game in hub operations,added the manager.
The A321 and A320 P2F are the only cargo conversion programs of the A320 family co-developed by Airbus. They were launched in June 2015 as a partnership between ST Aerospace, Airbus and their joint venture EFW GmbH.
ST Aerospace acts as Technical Authority,responsible for certification applications to the FAA and EASA. EFW deals with industrialization and marketing, while Airbus provides support as the manufacturer.
The A321P2F conversion program is the first of its kind to offer containerized cargo on both the main deck (up to 14 container positions) and the lower deck (up to 10 container positions), with a payload capacity of up to 27.9 tonnes over 2,300 NM (4,260 km).
The A321P2F is described by EFW as the ideal narrow-body cargo carrier for domestic and regional express flights.
The other P2F programs developed by the company are the A330-200P2F and the A330-300P2F. The first A330-300P2F was delivered in December 2017 to DHL Express after obtaining the EASA Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) in November.