US-based PACAVI Group and Chinese MRO GAMECO expanded their A320/A321 passenger-to-freighter conversion agreement, saying they intended to jointly offer a “one-stop-shop concept, offering tailored turnkey packages of airframe sourcing, purchase, customized conversion, and leasing or sale to airline customers of all tiers, worldwide.”
PACAVI inducted the prototype A320 for conversion at the HAITEC facility in Frankfurt/Hahn last year, and recently completed the Preliminary Design Review. However, under the agreement with GAMECO, conversion of the first commercially ordered A320 will commence shortly at GAMECO’s Guangzhou facility.
Regarding that first customer order, PACAVI has for some time hinted that it had orders and commitments for more than thirty A320/A321 conversions, without identifying any of the customers. However, CEO Stephan Hollmann today said the veil of secrecy would be lifted on 20 April at the Cargo Facts Asia 2016 event in Hong Kong, in a joint announcement of a thirty-unit firm order by PACAVI, GAMECO, and the customer. He added that, beyond this thirty-unit order, PACAVI also had firm orders and commitments for another twenty-six A320 and A321 P-to-F conversions. (For more information about Cargo Facts Asia, or to register, click here.)
Under the expanded agreement, GAMECO will also perform the prototype A321 conversion, but the date of induction and source of the aircraft have not been released.
Of course, PACAVI does not have the A320/A321 conversion market to itself. Germany-based EFW has also launched a program. EFW is the former MRO and conversion arm of the Airbus Group, now a joint venture of ST Aero (55%) and Airbus (45%). Under the jv agreement, ST Aero is providing the engineering for the A320/A321 conversion program, while EFW will handle sales and marketing, as well as (initially, at least) performing the conversions.
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