Vallair, the established aircraft asset and cargo conversion expert committed to assisting operators and lessors, has completed the conversion of its second Airbus A321 freighter. This is the first time an A321F has been operated by a carrier located in Europe. After receiving the FAA’s STC in April 2021, the aircraft designated MSN 891 was readied for delivery at Vallair’s specialized MRO & Painting facility in Montpellier, France, immediately after finishing conversion to the United States. Vallair leased MSN 891 to SmartLynx Malta, which will now operate the aircraft on DHL’s behalf.
Concentrated on narrowbody aircraft conversion, Vallair has been converting freight for more than a decade. The Company’s research shows that the A321 freighter version is much more environmentally friendly than its closest rival and provides superior range, cargo, and extra cost advantages. The unique design benefits from a lower cargo hold, which enables it to provide containerized freight transportation in addition to its standard cargo slots. This, therefore, makes the A321F the most appealing and cost-effective narrowbody offering from an air logistics perspective since the ability to containerize cargo lowers turn-around times and thus improves load efficiency.
Although this aircraft required little maintenance, it was repainted at Vallair’s specialized paint hangar in the south of France.
Parallel to the arrival of MSN891, Vallair has been planning for the conversion of its following two aircraft. Vallair expects a substantial decrease in turn-around time for the whole conversion process by extensive maintenance before induction at its Montpellier plant.
“Our third A321F is now planned for delivery in Q3 2021, as part of a larger program of A321 passenger-to-freighter conversions that will take place over the following months and years,” Leopold adds. “Vallair was a real pioneer in seeing the full potential of this aircraft, and we invested early in the initial modifications. Converting a passenger aircraft to cargo is a very complicated operation that requires highly skilled personnel to handle – this is true not just in terms of physical conversion but also of engineering and project management. The delivery of our second A321F, after the world’s first a few months ago, demonstrates the unwavering commitment of all the teams who have brought this to completion in such trying times”.
Additionally, more cargo players are using containers, and the A321 freighter’s environmental efficiency is excellent in this regard. Per containerized cubic meter flown, about 30% more CO2 emissions efficiency is produced than rival kinds. That is a remarkable accomplishment and a selling point for consumers who are becoming more aware of ESG issues”.
Vallair’s Montpellier crew has extensive expertise with significant repairs, skin and frame replacements, with more extensive repairs handled at the Company’s specialized aerostructure repair plant in Châteauroux. Additionally, Vallair assists with lease transitions by reconfiguring, painting, and refurbishing aircraft, as well as aircraft parking and storage. This provides tremendous flexibility for Vallair’s MRO business since the paint facility may be utilized in combination with maintenance or modification input. Vallair’s aerostructure facility, which also maintains a large pool of rotable assets available for sale, lease, or exchange, can perform composite and sheet metal repairs on a range of aircraft structures and components.
Vallair is a joint venture between France and Luxembourg in the aviation industry. It offers comprehensive service for proven aircraft, engines, and critical components. Seven complementing business areas are built on technical excellence: trade and leasing, cargo conversions, aircraft maintenance and repair, engines, aerostructures and paint, material management, and aircraft disassembly. These provide aircraft operators and owners around the globe with cost-effective options for extending the life of their assets or disposing of them in an economically and ecologically responsible manner. Vallair is a market leader in selling and leasing aircraft from the A320 family, ATR family, and Boeing 737 family.