DALLAS – After revealing in November 2022 that it would launch Airbus A321 Passenger to Freighter (P2F) cargo flights in April 2024, the first airframe bound for Japan Airlines (JL) has begun undergoing conversion work in Singapore.
In a joint venture with Airbus, the work is being carried out at ST Engineering Aerospace. The airframe (MSN4173) is the first of three aircraft ordered to undergo the conversion. It had previously been operated by Qatar Airways (QR). Two aircraft had already been delivered before the November announcement, and the third arrived in February.
Yamato Holdings Partner
JL will operate the flights in partnership with Yamato Holdings, a Japanese logistics company. According to the airline, four domestic routes will be served from Tokyo (NRT/HND) to Kitakyushu (KKJ), Sapporo (CTS) and Okinawa (OKA), plus a link between OKA and KKJ. There will be 21 flights per day.
The aircraft are expected to operate in the colors of Yamato Transport. It is the company’s first venture into air cargo transportation, as it currently utilizes road, rail and ferry transport.
Conversion work on the IAE V25000 powered jets is expected to be completed by the middle of September, with crew training on the aircraft commencing in November.
Airbus launched the P2F conversion program for the A320 and A321 in 2015 as a joint venture with ST Engineering and Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW). The first converted A321P2F flew in January 2020 and was later delivered to Qantas (QF). The type can carry 14 full-size cargo containers on its main deck and up to ten on the lower deck. It has a maximum payload of 27 tons.
Featured Image: Airbus.