Lessor BBAM and unanammed airline order A321 converted freighter

A320 and A321 P2Fs

Aircraft lessor BBAM and an unnammed airline have signed letters of intent (LoI) for A321 converted freighters at the Paris Airshow.

The LoIs were signed with the ST Engineering-Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW)-Airbus joint venture. The BBAM aircraft will be inducted for conversion into a 14-pallet cargo configuration in mid-2020, with re-delivery scheduled for later that year.

Steve Zissis, President and CEO of BBAM, said: “As the first conversion solution to introduce a containerised lower deck in the segment of narrowbody freighters, the A321P2F has the potential to be the game changer for any hub and spoke operation, and to greatly help realise the projected global air cargo growth rate. For this reason, we made the decision to work with EFW to offer this conversion solution to our customers.”

Andreas Sperl, CEO of EFW, said: “We are pleased to welcome BBAM as one of our prestigious P2F customers. Given the track record we have in redelivering converted freighters with the support and resources from parent companies, ST Engineering and Airbus, we are confident in meeting BBAM’s requirements for this first conversion, and we look forward to engaging them soon in the near future for follow-on conversion projects.”

The A321 P2F conversion programme was launched in 2015 together with the A320 P2F programme.

ST Engineering is responsible for the engineering development phase, up to obtaining the Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) approval by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and US Federal Aviation Administration. Airbus contributes to the programme with Original Equipment Manufacturer data and certification support, while EFW leads the overall programme and marketing & sales.

The programme is the first in its size category to offer containerised loading in both the main deck (up to 14 container positions) and lower deck (up to 10 container positions) with a payload-range capability that can carry up to 27.9 metric tons over 2,300 nautical miles.

The prototype conversion of the A321P2F will be completed by end of this year, while the STC is expected to be obtained in early 2020.

Other P2F solutions marketed by ST Engineering which uses the Airbus platform include the A330 that comes with two variants – the A330-200 and the larger A330-300.

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