Luxembourg-based Vallair, which signed on as the launch customer for A321 passenger-to-freighter conversion programs with both EFW and 321 Precision Conversions, is set to begin placing freighter-converted A321s with Qantas Freight and other carriers next year. Although sourcing suitable engines for 737 NG and A320-family narrowbody aircraft remains a challenge, the leasing and trading company is building out its standalone engine portfolio to create a pipeline of engines for its future narrowbody freighter conversions.
At present, Vallair has at least one A321 conversion on order with 321 Precision, and ten firm orders with EFW. Recognizing the lack of availability of low-priced engines for most of the newer freighter conversions, and increasing competition from the teardown market, Vallair is expanding its standalone engine portfolio to complement airframes it has acquired for eventual conversion feedstock.
During Cargo Facts Symposium 2019, Cargo Facts caught up with Grégoire Lebigot, the President, CEO and founder of Vallair to discuss the STC-development process and Vallair’s hunt for conversion feedstock and engines for freighter-converted A321-200s.