LONDON – Capital A, the holding company owning AirAsia X and Teleport, has announced it has signed a lease agreement with lessor BBAM for the delivery of three Airbus A321P2Fs (Passenger-to-Freighter).
The aircraft is set to be delivered in the first quarter of 2023.
The three A321Fs will be operated by AirAsia and will be delivered in stages starting in Q1 of 2023.
The addition of the A321Fs into Teleport’s fleet provides unique loadability and body composition where it allows for containerized loading in both the main deck and lower deck.
These narrowbody freighters will greatly strengthen Teleport’s cargo network and address the diversifying market demand within Southeast Asia and the overall Asia-Pacific region.
A strategic move for Teleport
Pete Chareonwongsak, Chief Executive Officer of Teleport said, “It is a timely and strategic move on our part to complement our exclusive AirAsia passenger belly planes with a freighter network to expand and reinforce our increased capacity for key markets like China and India into Asean”.
Chareonwongsak stated that a combined fleet approach with multi-hub freighter and belly operations will give Teleport a unique “many to many” network advantage to serve customers in this region.
E-commerce continues to be the main force propelling air cargo growth around the region and at Teleport, especially with key growth in segments like international cross-border e-commerce and express shipping.
“The addition of these freighters creates an added availability of skidded cargo capacity for key markets like China, which will allow us to load pre-packed, larger cargo in a secure manner.”
“Through the exclusive AirAsia network, which gives Teleport access to a multi-hub operating model, these three freighters will be seamlessly positioned across AirAsia’s key markets like Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, and Indonesia”, said Francis Anthony, Head of Commercial Cargo at Teleport.
He added that the new planes allow Teleport the agility to take advantage of each country’s unique geographical strengths, and air traffic rights and cater to every possible dimension of regional demand.
Coupled with an extensive network of narrow and wide-body passenger planes in the region, service offerings will put the company in a unique position to better serve more segments in the market.
Teleport launched its dedicated cargo-flying operations in November last year to boost the company’s e-commerce logistics operations.
It expects to grow to a fleet of 100 freighters by 2030 if the e-commerce boom continues.
The company currently has the largest cargo network with the widest destination coverage in Southeast Asia, encompassing over 160 cities and access to 252 wide-body and narrow-body aircraft.
New A321P2Fs will join Teleport’s single Boeing B737-800BCF, which is operated by K-Mile Air from Thailand.
The Airbus A321P2F can carry up to 28 tons of cargo, which is divided into 14 containers on the main deck and 10 LD3-45W on the lower deck. With a full load A321F range is between 3,500 and 4,000 km.
The conversion project was developed by ST Engineering, with Elbe Flugzeugwerke (a joint venture between ST Aerospace and Airbus) taking over program management and marketing.
Airbus wants to convert more than 600 aircraft of the A320 family in the coming two decades.
The conversion allows standard cargo pallets to be used on the main deck.