EFW and MRO Japan to Bring A320/321 Freighter Conversions to Japan

Exterior of MRO Japan hangar
Photo Credit: MRO Japan

Elbe Flugzeugwerke GmbH (EFW), a leader in Airbus passenger-to-freighter (P2F) conversions, and MRO Japan (MJP) have joined forces to expand freighter conversion options in the region.

MRO Japan is a major player in Japan’s aerospace maintenance sector.

This new collaboration, solidified by a signed memorandum of understanding (MOU), will see MJP act as a subcontractor for EFW.

The new partnering will specifically focus on Airbus A320P2F and A321P2F conversions.

MJP to Become First Japanese Conversion Site

This agreement positions MRO Japan (MJP) as the first conversion site in Japan for these new-generation narrowbody freighters from Airbus.

MJP’s CEO, Takashi Takahashi, expressed his enthusiasm about the partnership, highlighting their commitment to working with EFW for long-term success in Airbus P2F conversions.

The Japanese freighter and logistics market is primed for growth, with industry analysts predicting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.2% between 2024 and 2029.

Air freight is expected to be the fastest-growing segment within this market, driven by the efficiency and environmental benefits it offers compared to traditional road freight.

The success of existing Airbus P2F aircraft, currently operating for companies like Yamato Holdings (a leading Japanese delivery service), underscores the rising demand for freighters in Japan.

An aircraft parked in front of the MRO Japan hangar.
Photo Credit: MRO Japan

Suitability for Japanese Cargo Market

Jordi Boto, CEO of EFW, echoed this sentiment, welcoming MJP to their global network of P2F conversion facilities.

He emphasized the success of the A321P2F for Yamato Holdings and highlighted how the narrowbody Airbus P2F platform aligns perfectly with Japan’s cargo transportation needs.

Boto further emphasized the importance of partnerships with experienced companies like MJP, especially as EFW expands its conversion capacity to capitalize on the burgeoning Japanese air cargo market.

EFW P2F Programs

It’s important to note that EFW’s Airbus A320P2F/A321P2F programs are a collaborative effort with ST Engineering and Airbus.

EFW holds the Supplemental Type Certificate and leads the program’s overall development, marketing, and sales.

This collaboration has led to a network of conversion facilities across Asia Pacific, Europe, and the US, catering to the growing demand for Airbus P2F freighters, including the A330P2F, A320P2F, and A321P2F platforms.

Breathing New Life into Aircraft: P2F Conversions

As e-commerce continues to boom, the demand for efficient air cargo transportation is soaring. To meet this growing need, a clever solution has emerged: converting passenger airplanes into freighters, also known as Passenger-to-Freighter (P2F) conversions.

P2F conversions involve modifying passenger aircraft to accommodate cargo instead of passengers. This process typically involves removing passenger seats, strengthening the floor to handle heavier cargo loads, and installing cargo loading systems.

There are several advantages to P2F conversions. Firstly, they offer a more economical and sustainable way to expand freighter fleets compared to building entirely new cargo planes.

Secondly, P2F conversions can extend the lifespan of aging passenger aircraft, giving them a valuable second life.

Finally, these converted freighters can be particularly efficient for short-haul and regional cargo routes.

P2F conversions are a complex undertaking, requiring expertise in engineering, aviation regulations, and modifications.

Companies specializing in P2F conversions work closely with aircraft manufacturers and regulatory bodies to ensure the converted freighters meet all safety and airworthiness standards.

The rise of P2F conversions reflects a dynamic shift in the aviation industry, where innovation is meeting the growing demands of the global e-commerce era.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
4 Min Read
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