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PACAVI Group announces Airbus A320 and A321 passenger-to-freighter conversion program

10/02/2014 | by PACAVI

PACAVI Group, Inc. announced today that it is spearheading a new program for conversions of Airbus A320 and Airbus A321 aircraft from passenger-to-freighter configuration.

PACAVI Group CEO, Dr. Stephan Hollmann, commented on the project: “We view this as an exciting opportunity. There are currently about 600 freighters of the size category of the A320 and A321 operating globally, and this market is set to grow rapidly in the BRIC countries and around the world. Right now the only products of similar capacity are from Boeing. We look forward to the opportunity to provide Airbus operators and others technologically advanced freighters at highly competitive price points.”

PACAVI Group will be joined in this program by AeroTurbine, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of AerCap, one of the world’s largest aircraft leasing companies. AeroTurbine will perform freighter conversions at its Goodyear, Arizona facility, where it currently conducts passenger to freighter conversions for other aircraft as well as aircraft MRO services for Airbus A320 aircraft. The AdviseAer arm of AeroTurbine will also participate in the program and will provide comprehensive aircraft management services. AeroTurbine and AdviseAer are headquartered in Miramar, Florida.

Garry Failler, Chief Operating Officer of AeroTurbine, added: “This is an excellent growth opportunity for Goodyear, which has extensive experience in passenger to freighter conversions. AeroTurbine as a whole has more than tripled in size in recent years, and converting A320’s and A321’s expands our product offerings considerably. We’re very experienced on the Airbus product line as well and have carried out more than 200 aircraft heavy maintenance checks on the A320 alone.” Commercial deliveries are said to begin in 2017 or earlier.

Matt Schneider, who runs AdviseAer, added: “We started AdviseAer this year to provide comprehensive aircraft management services, including record keeping and other IT services, as well as optimizing airframe and engine maintenance services. We will source aircraft for acquisition by PacAvi that are currently operating as passenger aircraft, and put them into the AdviseAer program. These aircraft will become PACAVI’s feedstock for freighter conversions in future years.”

When asked about a prior Airbus program for A320 and A321 freighter conversions that was terminated several years ago, Dr. Hollmann commented: “Airbus said that it canceled that program to focus on its main business, manufacturing new aircraft, and demand has only increased since then. Passenger to freighter conversions is very much a niche business, and our key people have excellent track records in previous successful Airbus passenger to freighter conversion programs.”

Dr. Hollmann added: “We are great admirers of Airbus and its products and management, and have been since the days when I worked there at a predecessor company. That said, our project is not dependent on Airbus. All of the information required in order to get the Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) is publicly available. We are in close collaboration with the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) on the technical requirements for the STC development and they are extremely helpful. We encourage cargo carriers and others with an interest to have a discussion with us. Of course we will see many of our friends and potential customers at the Cargo Facts Symposium 2014 in Miami Beach next month, and we will discuss more about our industrial partners and customers in the run-up to Cargo Facts.”

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