This week, wet lease and charter airline Titan Airways took delivery of its first A321P2F – or passenger to freighter aircraft. The former Thomas Cook UK jet, once capable of transporting 220 passengers, has been converted to a full, permanent, and dedicated freighter – something sure to be a continuing trend moving forward.
“We’re delighted that these three Airbus aircraft are joining our cargo fleet. We’re seeing an increase in demand for our freighter services, so these aircraft will enable us to offer airfreight solutions to more clients and help us in our transition to an all-Airbus fleet.” -Alastair Willson, Titan Airways managing director via press release
About Titan’s A321P2Fs
Titan Airways has committed to three converted Airbus A321s, which, according to Air Cargo News, are under lease from BBAM leasing. According to data from Planespotters.net, the three A321s are registered as follows:
- G-POWZ (first served with Airtours International Airways in 2000)
- G-POWY (first served with Airtours International Airways in 2000)
- EI-GSV (originally delivered to Jetstar Airways in 2005). This registration is likely to change after its conversion.
More recently, prior to conversion, two of these aircraft served with Thomas Cook Airlines in the UK, configured in an all-economy, 220-seat layout. Not all aircraft have been converted just yet, as the third is set for conversion in the second half of 2021 and will be owned directly by Titan.
Stay informed: Sign up for our daily aviation news digest.
Conversion work done in Singapore
Singapore Seletar airport has been selected as the site for these freighter conversions, with ST Engineering, Airbus, and their joint venture, Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW), carrying out the work.
“ST Engineering, Airbus and EFW’s A321P2F programme delivers strongly in the areas of innovativeness and value enhancement. We are pleased to partner with them and our customer, Titan Airways on a solution that fully meets our customer’s requirements and drives value for our investors.” -Steve Zissis, president and chief executive of BBAM via Air Cargo News
While we’re much more accustomed to reporting on many other passenger-to-freighter aircraft such as the 747, 757, 767, and 777, the conversion of an Airbus A321 hasn’t been that common. That’s because the A321P2F is a fairly new offering.
The conversion program for this particular aircraft was first announced by Airbus in February 2020. As Airbus explains in a press release, modifying an A321 from passenger to the P2F version involves the following work:
- Integrating a large main deck cargo door in the forward fuselage,
- Plugging the passenger windows and deactivating most passenger doors,
- Replacing the forwardmost left passenger door with a smaller one to optimize the number of cargo positions on the main deck.
- Cabin refurbishment, including the installation of a rigid barrier wall,
- Reinforcement of the floor
“The A321P2F is a perfect replacement for the older generation of narrow-body freighters. With space for 14 large containers/pallets on the main deck and 10 LD3-type containers on the lower deck, it is the most cost-efficient freighter in its category available today. It also is more environmentally friendly through a much lower fuel burn and reduced emissions.” -Airbus via press release
What do you think of Titan Airways’ decision to increase its activity in the freighter business? Let us know in the comments.