Aircraft management and engineering company PACAVI and Guangzhou-based MRO GAMECO expanded their strategic partnership, saying that GAMECO would perform passenger-to-freighter conversion of PACAVI’s first A321 Freighter LITE, with work to commence “no later than the fourth quarter of 2015.”
In January of this year HAITEC began conversion of PACAVI’s prototype A320 at its Frankfurt Hahn facility, but with the commencement of the A321 P-to-F program PACAVI CEO Stephan Hollmann said: “We want to have the conversion available for both the A320 and A321 almost simultaneously, beginning in 2017.”
GAMECO is not well known for doing conversions, but it does have some history in that regard. It performed a number of 737-300 P-to-F conversions for Bedek Aviation Group (the conversion/MRO arm of Israel Aerospace Industries) several years ago, and also performed the first A300-600 P-to-F conversion for Flight Structures, before that program was effectively abandoned. Perhaps more interesting, and certainly relevant to the A320/A321 conversion program, is that GAMECO is 50% owned by China Southern Airlines, which operates the world’s largest A320/A321 fleet, including 121 A320s and 79 A321s.
Commenting on the agreement, GAMECO General Manager Norbert Marx said” “China currently combines swift growth for cargo and express carriers with the domestic availability of quality Airbus feedstock.”
In addition to the placement of the prototype A321 conversion with GAMECO, the expanded agreement provides that GAMECO and PACAVI will undertake “joint marketing activities in the APEC region, including opening of a marketing center in Guangzhou to target conversion customers in the region.” The agreement also includes aftermarket support for A320 and A321 customers in the region.
PACAVI provided the following specifications for its A321 Freighter LITE P-to-F conversion:
- 13.5 main-deck pallet positions: Thirteen 88 x 125 x 82, plus one half-size position
- 140” electrically operated main-deck cargo door
- MTOW: 93.5 tonnes (206,130 lb)
- Maximum structural payload: 25 tonnes (subject to engineering change)
- Range at maximum payload: 2,000 nm (subject to engineering change)