LONDON – Aero Capital Solutions (ACS) has announced the launch of its Airbus A321P2F conversion line using a deal with SmartLynx Airlines.
The first four A321s of the joint program have already been initiated through sale lease-back between the parties, where ACS acts as a lessor and financier, while SmartLynx efficiently operates the aircraft after conversion completion.
Upon deliveries of the additional four freighters, the SmartLynx A321F fleet will reach up to 15 units. The cargo operator’s intended freighter fleet growth aligns with ACS’ expanding freighter fleet.
SmartLynx CEO Zygimantas Surintas said, “ACS and SmartLynx have a long-established relationship surrounding passenger aircraft, and we’re excited to continue to work together as we expand our market-leading A321F capacity and work towards the fleet modernization.”
“The aircraft is highly efficient with lower operating cost and fuel burn advantage in comparison to the legacy aircraft, such as the B757, making them substantially more environmentally friendly.”
“ACS’s unique mix of hands-on mid-life aircraft expertise, freighter conversion knowledge, and engine support is an excellent fit for SmartLynx.”
Jason Barany, CEO and Founder of ACS said, “We are eager to break into the A321 market with SmartLynx being our kick-off customer. We deeply value our relationship with SmartLynx, and we look forward to helping them grow their A321 freighter fleet.”
SmartLynx & The A321P2F…
SmartLynx has this year taken a major interest in the Airbus A321P2F program.
Back in June, the airline ordered six Airbus A321 Passenger-to-Freighter (P2F) aircraft at the Singapore Air Show.
Deliveries of the aircraft are to take place between this year and 2023, with SmartLynx operating the aircraft on behalf of DHL in Europe.
Commenting on the news was Andreas Sperl, the CEO of EFW:
“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 programs will create great value for customers such as SmartLynx, as they plan on growing their fleet with reliable and high-performance freighter aircraft.”
Also commenting on the news was Zygimantas Surintas, the CEO of SmartLynx Airlines:
“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”.
“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.”
With more orders coming in for EFW, including the A330P2F and A321P2F working alongside ST Engineering and Airbus, this means that it will be expanding its conversion sites globally.
The expansion will see a total conversion capacity of around 60 slots per year by 2024, hinting at continued growth going forward.