Last Wednesday, the first Airbus A320neo was delivered by Airbus at its Hamburg production centre to launching customer Lufthansa. Many more will follow in view of roughly 4,500 orders placed by airlines for the enhanced variants of the A320 family.
Aviation experts are convinced that the market entry of the A320neos will increasingly motivate carriers to gradually phase out the forerunner models of the A320classic family. This, they expect,
widely opens the doors for converting A320, A319 and A321 passenger aircraft into freighters.
There is a market for P2F converted A320s
An irrefutable sign that this estimation becomes reality in a couple of years was given by specialist EFW by announcing at the Paris Le Bourget air show last summer that they will launch a specific conversion program for A320classics. Although the company didn’t make much fuzz of it, they have targeted the integrators and their local feeding partners as their main future clients. This, because a key component of the globally acting express firm’s business model is combining trunk routes with thinner stretches to guarantee customers seamless door-door supplies even to remote destinations. Exactly for this particular reason, freighter aircraft of a smaller size are essential in order to cover regional routes and linking the sub-hubs with the express giant’s global gateways. Only by operating both larger and smaller freighters, can the integrators guarantee their clients fast and steady flows of goods within their worldwide networks.
EFW will start its first A320 P2F conversions in 2018
“Now that the first A320neo is in service, we expect the availability of the Airbus A320classics to increase in the coming years,” confirms head of corporate communications Christopher Profitlich of EFW. EFW is a Dresden, Germany-based joint venture of Airbus and Singapore’s ST Aerospace Company that specialized on passenger aircraft into freighter configuration.
However, up to now not a single client has placed an order for P2F conversions of any A320classics. “But our clear target is starting the first A320 conversion in 2018,” says Christopher. This will be realized at Dresden Airport, EFW’s headquarters that is optimally equipped to accomplish the task due to the expertise of their more than 1,100 staff and the firm’s technical capabilities.
A320neo is an environmentally friendly product claim Airbus and Lufthansa
Meanwhile, Lufthansa’s first A320neo (D-AINA) entered into commercial service, flying between Hamburg, Frankfurt and Munich. The airline stresses that the jetliner’s new Pratt & Whitney developed turbines enable a significant advance in terms of noise and emissions reduction. Thanks to the PW1100G engine technology, the A320neo is 15 percent more fuel-efficient than today’s comparable models and its noise contour halves that of the A320classic.
In total, the Lufthansa Group has ordered 116 neo-type aircraft, 45 of them the larger A321neo version. These new aircraft are intended for Lufthansa and Swiss. The order represents an investment of US$3.3 billion according to list price