In collaboration with SmartLynx Airlines, Aero Capital Solutions (ACS) has begun a programme to convert four Airbus A321 freighters into passenger aircraft. The 40-plane B737-800SF P2F programme will be supplemented by the A321 expansion, according to ACS, a mid-life narrowbody aircraft and engine lessor. The parties have already begun the joint program’s first four A321s through a sale-leaseback arrangement.
ACS will serve as both a financier and a lessor. After the upgrade is finished, the aircraft will be flown by the skilled A321 freighter operator SmartLynx, which provides ACMI, cargo, and charter services.
After the four freighters are delivered, the SmartLynx A321F fleet will consist of up to 15 aircraft. The anticipated expansion of the cargo operator’s freighter fleet complements the growth of ACS’ freighter fleet.
SmartLynx chief executive Zygimantas Surintas: “ACS and SmartLynx have a long-established relationship surrounding passenger aircraft, and we’re excited to continue to work together as we expand our market-leading A321F capacity and work towards fleet modernisation.
“The aircraft are highly efficient with lower operating cost and fuel burn advantage in comparison to the legacy aircraft, such as the B757, making them substantially more environmentally friendly. “ACS’s unique mix of hands-on mid-life aircraft expertise, freighter conversion knowledge, and engine support is an excellent fit for SmartLynx.” Jason Barany, chief executive and founder of ACS: “We are eager to break into the A321 market with SmartLynx being our kick-off customer. “We deeply value our relationship with SmartLynx and we look forward to helping them grow their A321 freighter fleet.”