Vallair has delivered its third Airbus A321 freighter, bearing serial number MSN 1017. It follows the delivery of MSN 835 in October 2020 and MSN 891 in June 2021.
The aircraft was the first A321 cargo conversion to have been inducted in China. MSN 1017 is now registered in Europe and has been delivered to SmartLynx Malta, who will operate the aircraft on behalf of DHL.
Following conversion, maintenance and painting activities have been carried out at Vallair’s specialist MRO facility located in Montpellier, France. Vallair’s dedicated paint facility is adjacent to its Montpellier MRO facility and can be used in conjunction with any narrowbody maintenance or modification input, the company said.
“As the first cargo conversion to take place in China, the delivery of MSN 1017 to a European operator is another significant milestone for Vallair,” said Vallair’s head of trading & leasing Patrick Leopold.
“Fuel efficiency, reduction of CO2 emissions, availability of feedstock and an aircraft type that is still in production are all key drivers of this programme. Month on month we see the ever-augmenting demands of e-commerce and e-freight and the A321F is the ideal candidate in terms of payload and capacity – the ability to offer containerised cargo on the main and lower deck, thus reducing turn-around-times is also an advantage.
“It is, however, important to also remember that in addition to the vital role it continues to play in supporting the global economy, the air cargo market is now becoming increasingly important in powering global Covid vaccine distribution and feeding of the post-Covid global supply chain needs.
“Last, but not least, today MSN 1017 becomes the third Airbus A321 converted into freighter and delivered to its operator by Vallair, all within less than a year. This further demonstrates our capability to successfully run such a programme involving several stakeholders from all over the world. This has been made possible thanks to the dedication and efficiency of our engineering and project management teams who are also able to rely on our own industrial capabilities.”