Vallair leases the first Airbus A321F in Europe to SmartLynx Malta

posted on 14th June 2021 by Eddie Saunders
Vallair leases the first Airbus A321F in Europe to SmartLynx Malta

Vallair, the mature aircraft asset and cargo conversion specialist dedicated to the support of both operators and lessors, has delivered its second Airbus A321 freighter conversion.

This is the first ever A321F to be operated by a European based carrier. 

Having received its STC from the FAA in April 2021, the aircraft has been prepared for delivery at Vallair’s specialist MRO & Painting facility in Montpellier, France immediately following its conversion in the USA.

The aircraft has been leased by Vallair to SmartLynx Malta who will now operate the aircraft on behalf of DHL.

We are delighted to see the successful delivery of our second A321 freighter conversion,” says Patrick Leopold, director of trading & leasing at Vallair.

“This is, of course, another significant milestone for Vallair and serves to showcase the full remit of our capabilities.

“From acquisition of suitable feedstock by our Cargo Conversions and Trading & Leasing teams and the support of our dedicated Aerostructure facility enabling us to repair and replace the thrust reversers, to the maintenance and painting carried out by our MRO team in Montpellier, at every stage and at every level Vallair has been able to ensure the safe and efficient redelivery of this aircraft.”  

Maintenance requirements for this aircraft were minimal, however the aircraft has been repainted in Vallair’s dedicated paint hangar in the south of France.

Vallair has also been preparing its next two aircraft scheduled for conversion.

“Our third A321F is now scheduled for delivery in Q3 2021 and it is part of an extensive programme of A321 passenger-to-freighter conversions which will be carried out over the coming months and years,” continues Leopold.

“Vallair has been a true pioneer at understanding all the potential of this aircraft and we took the decision early on to invest in the first conversions. 

“Converting a passenger plane to cargo is indeed an extremely complex undertaking which needs to be managed by highly experienced people – this applies not only to the physical conversion process, but also in terms of engineering and project management.

“The delivery of our second A321F, following the delivery of the world’s first a few months ago, is testament to the total dedication of all the teams who have brought this to fruition in such challenging times”.

“Additionally, more cargo players are using containers, and the environmental performance of the A321 freighter here is impressive.  

“A circa 30% greater CO² emissions efficiency is generated per containerised cubic meter being flown than competitor types. 

“That’s an impressive achievement and a persuasive factor for customers who are increasingly conscious of ESG matters”.