AerCap launches A320 conversion programme

NETHERLANDS-based leasing company, AerCap signed a firm contract with Airbus Freighter conversion GmbH (AFC), to convert 30 of AerCap’s passenger A320/A321s into freighter aircraft (P2F).

“The A320 and A321P2Fs are setting new standards in the feeder freighter market,” said Klaus Heinemann, chief executive officer of AerCap. “This order will strengthen and expand our portfolio with the most and only modern aircraft in the small freighter segment.”

Lars Becker, chief executive officer of AFC, said: “We are very proud that AerCap, as a leading global aviation company, is the launch customer for this all new freighter aircraft. We anticipate about 400 Airbus Single Aisle aircraft to be converted from 2012 to 2026. The first A320P2F will be ready in 2011. After ramp up, we plan to convert around 30 A320 family aircraft per year.”

“The state-of-the-art A320/A321P2F address the future growth of the air cargo market and target at the replacement of the ageing small freighters in service today,” said Christian Scherer, Airbus executive vice-president strategy and future programmes. “These modern fly-by-wire aircraft will bring new levels of efficiency to freight operations. In addition, this new application will further extend the service-life of the successful A320 family far into the 21st century and boost their residual value. We see a substantial market demand.”

Alexey Fedorov, UAC president, said: “The conversion of A320 family aircraft is an important project for UAC. Irkut Corporation, a member of UAC, is acting as a key player in this project. At the moment, we are preparing a platform for P2F conversion, which will be located in Zhukovskij, perspective centre of the Russian aircraft industry.”

Oleg Demchenko, Irkut Corporation president, added: “The signature of the contract with the launch customer is an important milestone in the realisation of the joint project. We are happy that one of the leading international leasing companies AerCap became our launch customer. The interest to A320/A321 conversion, demonstrated by a number of companies, shows that the product is in demand on the world market.”

“With 160 converted wide body freighter aircraft delivered to customers worldwide, EADS EFW is well known as the Airbus freighter conversion expert. In this new project launched, we contribute our know-how for the benefit of all partners and customers to meet the market demand for a new smaller Airbus converted freighter,” said Dr Andreas Sperl, president and chief executive officer of EADS EFW. The Airbus A320 family passenger-to-freighter conversion is an ideal extension of today’s product portfolio.”

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