The first passenger-to-freighter (P2F) conversion conducted in the US has started with the slot-in into the hangar at ST Engineering’s airframe maintenance and modification facilities in San Antonio, Texas. VT San Antonio Aerospace (VT SAA) has a strong reputation for highest-quality MRO services for cargo operators and commercial airlines for nearly two decades. Together with the support of Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW), the companies’ OEM solution for A321 conversions will be realised at VT SAA.
As one of many more to come, the first ‘made in the USA’ A321P2F aircraft will be re-delivered to customer GTLK Europe. GTLK Europe is a top-tier global leasing company based in Dublin, Ireland, and has a fleet of over 70 aircraft. The first freighter converted in the US will be operated by SmartLynx with entry into service (EIS) in summer 2022.
The A321P2F is the first in its size category to offer containerised loading in both the main (up to 14 full container positions) and lower deck (up to ten container positions). EFW’s A321P2F solution has a generous and proven gross payload of over 28 metric tonnes, with further upside potential in future conversions. The solution, which comes with optimised weight distribution to enable empty flights and random loading, accords high flexibility for operators, in particular express carriers. The fact that EFW’s programme is the only OEM solution for the A321P2F in the market also ensures lifecycle value, given its superiority in quality, reliability and ease of maintenance.