Launch customer for the A321 freighter conversion (A321F) Vallair has signed an agreement with SmartLynx to lease two newly converted A321-200 freighters.

The freighters will be the first cargo aircraft to be operated by SmartLynx: an EU-based ACMI and charter operator on Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft. SmartLynx is headquartered in Riga, Latvia and has two subsidiaries, SmartLynx Malta and SmartLynx Estonia

Aircraft and asset specialist Vallair has been engaged in cargo conversions since 2015 and is the launching lessor of the Airbus A321 freighter. Says Alistair Dibisceglia, Chief Leasing and Trading Officer, “We look forward to seeing the A321Fs flying in Europe. The aircraft will be operated by SmartLynx on behalf of an international freight forwarder and will be based in Malta. The location is ideal for inter European distribution and will help to also alleviate the pressure on congested cargo hubs.”

The A321F is the greenest narrowbody freighter currently available. “Converting younger aircraft into freighters certainly has environmental advantages,” continues Dibisceglia. “As the technology used within the aircraft is younger by default, operators of this freighter can expect to see a 20% reduction in fuel burn per payload. With the surge in demand for air cargo as a result of the pandemic, and the availability of feedstock, we believe that the A321F will be the future of e-commerce and satisfy market demands for the next 20 years.”