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China Collaboration increases EFW capacity for A321

A Letter of Intent (LoI) was signed by Sichuan Haite Hi-Tech (Haite) and Elbe Flugzeugwerke GmbH (EFW) to add a second conversion line for the Airbus A321 P2F program.

On February 22, 2023, the LoI was signed with the China-based Maintenance and Repair Organization (MRO) Haite by the Germany-based EFW, which is jointly owned by Airbus (45%) and Singapore’s ST Aerospace (55%). With a new line of conversions beginning in Tianjin, China, the two businesses will work together to increase capacity for the Airbus A321 Passenger-to-Freighter (P2F) conversion program.

Three locations throughout the world—Singapore, Guangzhou, and San Antonio, Texas—are currently experiencing conversions. As well as a widebody aircraft Completion & Delivery Centre (C&DC) for the A330 and A350, Tianjin, China, is home to the Final Assembly Line (FAL) of the Airbus A320 family, which includes the A319, A320, and A321 FALs.

According to Jordi Boto, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of EFW, “We are thrilled to obtain a known partner in China with our most recent collaboration with Haite, which is well versed in freighter conversions.” By strengthening EFW’s presence in China, the two companies’ relationship, in Boto’s words, “would considerably boost our plan to build the global network for our narrowbody P2F program.”

Chairman of Haite Wan Tao stated that the LoI and prospective partnership is a “exciting milestone for us to work on the preferred conversion solution”

Tao continued, “I look forward to long-term growth of our win-win collaboration.” In October 2020, EFW completed the first A321 P2F conversion and delivered it to Vallair, an asset manager specializing in used aircraft. Vallair then turned the narrowbody aircraft over to Qantas.

The aircraft, with the registration VH-ULD, has been flown by the Australian airline on behalf of the Australian Post. Two further A321 P2Fs for Qantas’ fleet will be delivered in September and December of that year.

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