Elbe Flugzeugwerke (aka EFW, a joint venture between ST Aerospace and Airbus), said here yesterday that it has secured a launch contract from Luxembourg-based Vallair Solutions Sàrl for its Airbus A321 P2F/passenger-to-freighter conversions. 

EFW is convert 10 A321-200 passenger aircraft to a 14-pallet cargo configuration for Vallair. The first aircraft will be inducted in the last quarter of 2018, scheduled for redelivery by end of 2019.

“My personal history with the A321 goes way back to the start of my career with Air France when it first introduced this aircraft in its fleet,” said Vallair president and CEO Grégoire Lebigot. “At Vallair, through years of trading and supporting the A320 family, we have built a solid technical competence on this aircraft type. 

“Today, we see a huge potential in the A321P2F,” Lebigot said, “not only as a replacement of the B757 freighter, but as a key tool for the cargo industry to achieve the projected growth rate of the air freight market in general – in particular driven by express services and e-commerce. 

“The A321 P2F will be the first aircraft to introduce a containerized lower deck to the market segment of narrowbody freighters: a significant game changer for any hub and spoke operation,” he said.