Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW) has announced new orders for six A321 passenger-to-freighter (P2F) conversions from European ACMI charter and cargo operator SmartLynx Airlines.

This latest order will boost the narrowbody freighter aircraft fleet of SmartLynx, which is currently operating an A321P2F aircraft converted by EFW.

The A321 conversions are scheduled to take place in 2022 and 2023, and will be performed at ST Engineering’s conversion sites in Singapore and China. 

The Airbus A320/A321P2F is the first in its size category to offer containerized loading in both the main deck (up to 14 full container positions) and lower deck (up to 10 container positions).

EFW’s A320/A321P2F solution lends loads of flexibility for operators as it comes with optimized weight distribution to enable random loading even on empty flights, as well as a payload-range capability of more than 28 metric tons. 

“We are delighted to work with EFW towards our goal of becoming the largest operator of A321 cargo freighters, as we are convinced that this type of aircraft will become the top choice for customers globally,” said CEO of SmartLynx Airlines, Zygimantas Surintas.

“There are many advantages to the Airbus A321 aircraft, especially in the freighter field as it is the most fuel-efficient narrowbody cargo aircraft available and we have made a conscious decision to follow the market’s demands for more sustainable air transportation. This choice of aircraft underlines SmartLynx’s commitment to the future, focused on cleaner, environmentally conscious, and sustainable air freight transport.”

CEO of EFW, Andreas Sperl, said: “These new orders, which came after SmartLynx leased and operated its first A321P2F freighter converted by EFW, is a stamp of approval for our conversion solutions.

“We are confident that our P2F programmes will create great value for customers such as SmartLynx, as they plan on growing their fleet with reliable and high-performance freighter aircraft.”

To meet the rising demand for freighter conversions, ST Engineering and EFW set up a new conversion site in China and the U.S. for the A321P2F in 2021, and will set up new sites for the A330P2F in China and the U.S. in 2022. 

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