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Singapore Airshow 2018: ST Aerospace's JV wins contract for A321 passenger-to-freighter conversion from Vallair

ST Aerospace subsidiary, Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW), has landed a contract from Vallair Solutions Sàrl (Vallair) to convert 10 A321-200 passenger aircraft to 14-pallet freighters (P2F).

The first aircraft will be inducted in the last quarter of 2018, scheduled for redelivery by end of 2019. A value for the deal was not revealed.

Gregoire Lebigot, chief executive of aviation company Vallair, said: "We see a huge potential in the A321P2F, 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."

Lim Serh Ghee, president of ST Aerospace added: "As the e-commerce and express market continues to grow, our investments in new freighter conversion programmes will allow us to seize the opportunities created by the uptick in freighter demand. While offering a strong proposition with its unique container position in the lower deck, the A321P2F will also complement our other freighter solutions to provide customers with a range of options."

EFW is a 55:45 joint venture between ST Aerospace and planemaker Airbus.

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The A321P2F conversion programme is the first in its size category to offer containerised loading in both the main deck - up to 14 container positions - and lower deck, with up to 10 container positions. It has a payload-range capability that can carry up to 27.9 tonnes over 2,300 nautical miles.

Other P2F works carried out by ST Aerospace and EFW for Airbus freighters include the A330 which has two variants - the A330-200P2F and the larger A330-300P2F. EFW redelivered the first A330-300 freighter in December last year.

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