• Joe Breitfeller

First Airbus A321 Passenger to Freight Conversion Enters Service with Qantas for Australian Post

The aircraft, officially called an A321P2F, was converted by Ibe Flugzeugwerke (EFW) which is a joint venture between Airbus and ST Engineering. The new aircraft is being leased by Vallair to Qantas who will operate the freighter on behalf of the Australia Post.


Qantas/Australia Post A321P2F - Courtesy Airbus

On Tuesday (October 27, 2020), Airbus announced the delivery and entry into service of the first Airbus A321P2F (passenger to freight conversion) to Qantas. The aircraft was converted by Flugzeugwerke (EFW), a joint venture between Airbus and ST Engineering, and has been leased by Vallair to Qantas which will operate the freighter on behalf of the Australian Post. Following flights tests last month, the world’s first A321 converted freighter was delivered by EFW to Vallair. Last February, EFW had received the Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for the A321P2F from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Validation STC from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in July. In Tuesday’s announcement, Airbus’ Vice President of Asset Management and EFW Shareholder Committee Member, Andreas Hermann, said,


“We are very pleased to see the A321P2F programme entering service. The Airbus A321 is the platform which, by design, will offer the best economics, cargo capacity and performance in the Single-Aisle freighter segment going forward. For any asset owner this will provide an excellent opportunity to leverage future growth and replacement waves, underpinning the already great value proposition of the A321 today.”


The A321P2F is the first aircraft in its size class to offer containerized loading both on the main and lower decks with up to 14 full main deck positions and up to 10 lower deck positions. The aircraft offers a generous 28 metric ton payload capacity which can carried to a range of over 2,300 nautical miles, making it an ideal choice for express domestic and regional operations.

Featuring a large main cargo door which is hydraulically actuated and electrically locked, the A321P2Fs ‘Class E’ main deck cargo compartment also boasts a full rigid 9G barrier for maximum protection between cargo and crew. The redesigned flight deck also includes extra seating. The Airbus, ST Engineering and EFW collaboration will reach another milestone next year with the introduction of the first Airbus A320 passenger to freight conversion (A320P2F).


Qantas Airbus A321P2F - Courtesy Airbus

In a separate announcement on Tuesday, Pratt & Whitney also celebrated the delivery of the A321P2F, which is powered by the company’s V2500® engines. Commenting on the delivery, IAE International Aero Engines AG’s President, Bernie Zimmerman, added,


“The delivery today is an exciting milestone for the cargo industry, and we are proud to power this first Airbus A321P2F aircraft. The V2500 engine delivers lower noise and a fuel advantage to customers of about 3%, resulting in significant cost savings, lower emissions and a payload-range benefit which makes it a great fit for cargo operations. We look forward to supporting Qantas and future A321P2F deliveries for many years to come.”


Pratt & Whitney’s V2500 engines power approximately 3,000 aircraft in over 80 countries with nearly 200 operators. Since entering service in 1989, over 7,800 V2500 engines have been produced and have since powered more than 60 million flights with over 240 million engine flight hours. The engine is backed by 18 global MRO facilities, including nine IAE partner facilities, three of which are managed by Pratt & Whitney joint ventures, namely The Turkish Engine Center in Istanbul, the Shanghai Engine Center in China and the Christchurch Engine Center in New Zealand. The V2500 engine is offered through IAE International Aero Engines AG, a multinational consortium which includes Pratt & Whitney, Pratt & Whitney Aero Engines International GMBH, Japanese Aero Engines Corporation and MTU Aero Engines.


Source(s): Airbus, Pratt & Whitney

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