Conversion firm EEFW has won orders for six Airbus A321 passenger-to-freighters (P2F) from SmartLynx Airlines, a European ACMI charter and cargo company which will operate all six aircraft for DHL in Europe.
Smartlynx currently operates one A321P2F converted by EFW, the Dresden-headquartered P2F joint venture of ST Engineering and Airbus.
The conversions are scheduled in 2022 and 2023 at ST Engineering’s conversion sites in Singapore and China.
In November 2021, SmartLynx announced the addition of two A321 freighters to its fleet, due to enter service shortly after being modified by US-based Precision Conversions.
EFW chief executive 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.”
Smartlynx chief executive Zygimantas Surintas said: “We are delighted to work with EWF 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.
“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.”
The Airbus A320/A321P2F offers containerised 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 comes with optimised weight distribution to enable random loading, even on empty flights, as well as a payload-range capability of more than 28 tonnes, providing flexibility for operators such as express carriers.
The conversion company recently delivered its third A321 converted freighter to lessor BBAM. The aircraft will enter service as Lufthansa’s first A321 freighter.