German P2F conversion specialist Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW) and Sichuan Haite Hi-Tech have signed a letter of intent aimed at starting remodeling passenger to freighter aircraft of the Airbus variant A321. The work will be caried out by Haite’s facility in Tianjin, China, situated close to Airbus’ local assembly line of A321 aircraft. Haite will start with one conversion line and induct the first A321 aircraft for conversion in 3Q 2023. This will bring the global conversion sites EFW has for its A321P2F programme to a total number of four, namely in San Antonio, U.S.; Singapore; and Guangzhou and Tianjin, China.
Picking Haite as a future industrial partner further increases Tianjin's role as important actor within the global Airbus empire. Once the loi is materialized, the location adds to EFW’s current three global A321P2F conversion sites: Singapore, San Antonio, and Guangzhou.
The Sichuan-based company is the first publicly listed private enterprise in China offering MRO service solutions in civil aviation engineering and technologies. Its products and services network spans across multiple countries and regions such as China, U.S., Singapore, France, Ireland, and Indonesia.
The intended A321P2F conversions will be performed by its subsidiary Tianjin Haite, based at Tianjin Binhai International Airport which accomplished numerous freighter conversions for international customers. The narrowbody airframer is certified by CAAC, FAA and EASA, and offers heavy maintenance, repainting and modifications services on both, Airbus and Boeing narrowbody aircraft.
“We are pleased to gain a renowned partner in China through our latest collaboration with Haite, which is well experienced in freighter conversions,” said Jordi Boto, CEO of EFW. “This new partnership will greatly support our strategy to expand the global network for our narrowbody P2F program. It will also further strengthen our presence in China, which is one of the largest and fastest growing aviation markets in the world."
Wan Tao, Chairman of Haite Hi-Tech replied to this: “We are much honored to have EFW’s confidence in Haite through our collaboration as EFW’s first third-party conversion site for the A321P2F program. This is an exciting milestone for us to work on the preferred conversion solution, and I look forward to strengthening our mutually beneficial partnership in the long run.”
EFW’s family of Airbus P2F programs – A320P2F, A321P2F and A330P2F – are developed in collaboration with ST Engineering and Airbus, with EFW holding the Supplemental Type Certificate and leading in the overall program as well as marketing and sales efforts. To meet the high demand for freighter conversions, ST Engineering and EFW have set up conversion sites in China and the U.S. and tend to work increasingly with third-party retrofitters to complement the established Airbus P2F conversion facilities in Germany and Singapore.
Third Party solutions
So done in OCT22 when EFW and Turkish Technic signed an agreement allowing the Turkish provider of maintenance, repair, overhaul, modification and reconfiguration services the P2F conversion of A330 aircraft for giving them a second life as freighters. The deal was triggered by two factors: the soaring global demand for freighters and the fully utilized capacities of EFW’s own ground facilities at Dresden Airport. According to the accord, the first P2F conversion of an A330 carried out by Turkish Technic is scheduled to commence in Q3, 2023. Similar agreements with other retrofitters, particularly in North America, are likely to follow.
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