PACAVI Group and AeroTurbine plan to combine on a new program for conversions of Airbus A320 and Airbus A321 aircraft from passenger-to-freighter configuration with commercial deliveries beginning by 2017.
“We view this as an exciting opportunity,” said Dr. Stephan Hollman, PACAVI Group CEO. “There are currently about 600 freighters of the size category of the A320 and A321 operating globally, and this market is set to grow rapidly in the BRIC countries and around the world. Right now the only products of similar capacity are from Boeing. We look forward to the opportunity to provide Airbus operators and others technologically advanced freighters at highly competitive price points.”
AeroTurbine is a wholly owned subsidiary of AerCap, one of the world’s largest aircraft leasing companies. It will perform freighter conversions at its Goodyear, Ariz., facility, where it currently conducts passenger to freighter conversions for other aircraft as well as aircraft MRO services for Airbus A320 aircraft. The AdviseAer arm of AeroTurbine will also participate in the program and will provide comprehensive aircraft management services. AeroTurbine and AdviseAer are headquartered in Miramar, Fla.
“This is an excellent growth opportunity for Goodyear, which has extensive experience in passenger to freighter conversions,” said Garry Failler, COO of AeroTurbine. “AeroTurbine as a whole has more than tripled in size in recent years, and converting A320s and A321s expands our product offerings considerably. We’re very experienced on the Airbus product line as well and have carried out more than 200 aircraft heavy maintenance checks on the A320 alone.”
Matt Schneider, who runs AdviseAer, said it was started this year to provide comprehensive aircraft management services, including record keeping and other IT services, as well as optimizing airframe and engine maintenance services.
“We will source aircraft for acquisition by PACAVI that are currently operating as passenger aircraft, and put them into the AdviseAer program.” Schneider said. “These aircraft will become PACAVI’s feedstock for freighter conversions in future years.”
Hollman noted that a previous Airbus program for A320 and A321 freighter was terminated several years ago.
“Airbus said that it canceled that program to focus on its main business, manufacturing new aircraft, and demand has only increased since then. Passenger to freighter conversions is very much a niche business, and our key people have excellent track records in previous successful Airbus passenger to freighter conversion programs.”