MIAMI – SmartLynx Airlines (6Y), a full-service EU-based ACMI (Aircraft Crew Maintenance Insurance) leasing company has announced a new long-haul cargo operation although no fixed start date is known at the moment as aircraft are undergoing modifications.

SmartLynx is adding five Airbus A330 aircraft, leased from CDB Aviation, to its fleet, at present going thru modification to be configured as Zero LOPA (Layout Of Passenger Accommodation) which means they will be stripped of all seats and prepared for all-cargo operations. The five A330 are awaited during May and June.

The decision taken by 6Y to enter the cargo business stems from recent International Air Transport Association (IATA) statistics indicating that demand for freight flights has reached an all-time high, showing an increase of 9% when compared to pre-pandemic figures. This opportunity has driven the airline to modify and increase its fleet.

The modified A330 will be used to transport general cargo but also medical supplies or urgently and badly needed vaccines.

SmartLynx Airlines Airbus A330 in Zero LOPA Configuration

Comments from CEOs

Zygimantas Surintas, CEO of 6Y commented on the new venture by stating “As one of the leading EU-based ACMI and charter operators on Airbus aircraft, we are excited to substantially grow our fleet and offer our clients different products while diving to long-haul operations. We are constantly expanding our service portfolio and areas of expertise to accommodate the rapidly changing market demand.”

“As one of the leading EU-based ACMI and charter operators on Airbus aircraft, we are excited to substantially grow our fleet……Zygimantas Surintas, CEO of 6Y Click To Tweet

He continued his comments by saying, “It’s our strong belief that the pandemic and the current global crisis will create many opportunities for growth and development for our company and the whole industry. The addition of the modified Airbus A330 aircraft is a big step forward for SmartLynx Airlines and we are more than excited to see what challenges and victories it will bring.”

SmartLynx Airbus 330 P2F – Photo : SmartLynx media

He was joined by CDB Aviation Chief Marketing Officer, Peter Goodman, which also commented on the partnership with 6Y, by saying, “We are pleased to partner with SmartLynx Airlines to support their expansion in the cargo market. We commend the SmartLynx Airlines team for recognizing opportunities to expand their global footprint by incorporating the A330 aircraft into their fleet”.

SmartLynx is not new to this type of operation. Earlier this year, 6Y already engaged in Zero LOPA modification of two of its Airbus A321 to meet the growing demand for cargo space. The airline was one of the first carriers to operate the A321F.

Featured image: SmartLynx