British charter airline Titan Airways has taken delivery of its first passenger-to-freighter converted aircraft, a CFM56-5B powered Airbus A321P2F.
This delivery is the first of three Airbus A321 converted passenger-to-freighter aircraft on order.
The UK airline is among the first carriers in the world to operate the converted aircraft since the plane’s initial production in 2020.
The aircraft is leased to Titan Airways by an investment vehicle managed by affiliates of BBAM Limited Partnership, which oversaw the aircraft conversion, together with Airbus affiliated partners, that was completed in Singapore.
In 2020, Titan also took delivery of its first A321neo powered by LEAP-1A engines.
The Airbus A321 Passenger to Freight conversion program was launched by ST Engineering and Airbus through their joint-venture Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW) in 2015.
Modifying an A321 from passenger to the P2F version involves integrating a large main deck cargo door in the forward fuselage, plugging the passenger windows, and deactivating most passenger doors.
It’s also more fuel-efficient, resulting in lower emissions. Demand for air cargo services is soaring amid a pandemic-induced capacity shortage.
With COVID-19 vaccine and testing distribution need imminent, the aircraft conversion availability is timely.
Titan stated it had been exploring aircraft options that not only offer more containerized volume, but also significantly better fuel-burn to align with our sustainability vision.
“The CFM-powered A321P2F aircraft achieves a 20 per cent less fuel-burn per-hour compared to similar sized-aircraft it replaces in our fleet. The engine’s excellent efficiency and reliability also enable us to do more for our customers at this crucial time,” said Alastair Willson, managing director of Titan Airways.
Gaël Meheust, president and CEO of CFM International, added: “We’re grateful for the trust that Titan Airways has placed in us throughout the years. Titan has been operating three generations of CFM engines, including CFM56-3, CFM56-5B, and now the LEAP-1A.
“We’re confident the LEAP-1A engine will continue to deliver both efficiency and reliability to help further elevate Titan’s operational excellence.”
Article courtesy of Airlinerwatch.