ST Engineering has secured a lease agreement with the Vaayu Group for five Airbus A320 conversions from passenger aircraft to cargo (P2F), the company said Feb. 14. The two planes have already found a home with the operator Astral Aviation, based in Nairobi, Kenya, which will be the first carrier to carry out the conversion of narrow-body cargo ships.
ST Engineering is performing re-equipment at Seletara, from where the original aircraft made its first flight on 8 December. The first of the aircraft should start operating in the second quarter of this year. Modification of the cargo is initially approved in accordance with an additional EASA type certificate.
“We are pleased to welcome Vaayu as our first A320P2F tenant, and Astral Aviation will be the first airline in the world to use such a platform,” said Yip Heng Maine, executive vice president of ST Engineering and head of aviation asset management. “As an aviation asset solution provider supported by other integrated lifecycle capabilities, including cargo conversion and maintenance, we can provide comprehensive solutions not offered by other service providers and help operators gain a competitive advantage.”
ST Engineering is collaborating with Airbus for the P2F narrow-body program through the Elbe Flugzeugwerke joint venture. The JV also offers a longer P32F conversion to A321. The first aircraft in its size class to provide easy-to-operate container loading on both the upper and lower decks, the A320P2F also offers best-in-class fuel consumption. The A320P2F can hold 10 ULD containers on the main deck with one pallet position and another seven ULD on the lower deck. The payload is more than 21 tons, which can be transported at a distance of 1800 nm, and 17-ton cargo can fly a distance of 2560 nm.
The main features of the P2F conversion include a cargo door on the main deck with a hydraulic drive with hydraulic drive, size 142 by 85 inches, which can be locked electronically. The Class E cargo compartment is fully compliant with industry requirements, with features such as a solid cargo barrier weighing 9 g, a light cargo substrate, a manually operated loading system, and reinforced floor panels and floor mesh to provide higher loads.
https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/air-transport/2022-02-14/st-engineering-wins-first-lease-deal-a320p2f-freighters ST Engineering won the first A320P2F cargo hire deal