West Air Luxembourg to become launch operator of new A320P2F Freighter Aircraft.
West Air Luxembourg SA, trading as West Atlantic, will take delivery of the world’s first converted A320 freighter aircraft. West Atlantic is a trade mark of one of the largest all cargo airline operators, with a long history of operating scheduled and ad hoc freight charter services for integrators, post and express parcels, and feeder operations.
The aircraft is acquired on a lease contract with AerCap Holdings N.V that placed an order for a total of 30 converted A320 aircraft in 2008. AerCap, AerCap's subsidiary AeroTurbine and AFC will provide certain spares, crew training and line support to West Atlantic for facilitating the entry of the converted aircraft into service.
Under the lease agreement between AerCap and West Atlantic, subject to finalisation of terms and conditions, West Atlantic will become launch operator of A320P2Fs by taking an initial of three aircraft on lease from AerCap with deliveries between the end of 2012 and mid-2013 with the option of further four aircraft by 2015.
West Atlantic plans to create a Centre of Competence of A320P2F Aircraft in Luxembourg and use its reputation and network of customers to successfully introduce the new aircraft. “The A320P2F program is an exciting project and we are delighted to be the launch operator for this new freighter aircraft. Luxembourg offers an attractive environment and facilities to develop ambitious projects”, says Peter Koster, CEO and Managing Director of West Air Luxembourg.
“We believe the A320P2F is a modern aircraft offering strong competitive advantages for professional cargo markets. The A320P2F will carry 10 AAA containers on it’s main deck and 7 AKH containers on the lower deck offering unparalleled mission versatility. Due to its modern design, continuously supported and developed by Airbus, the A320P2F will be more fuel and noise efficient and offer longer range capability. We are looking forward to building upon the success of this excellent aircraft and believe the project will fit ideally into the cargo business environment of Luxembourg.”
Wes Air Luxembourg was founded in 2002 and operates a sizeable fleet of ATP, ATR72 and Q400 turboprop aircraft. “The upgrade to jet aircraft capacity is a logical next step for our organisation and the A320P2F will offer us better market coverage and meet the requirements of our current customer portfolio”, says Peter Koster.
Klaus Heinemann, CEO of AerCap, said: “The announcement of West Air Luxembourg SA as launch operator for our P2F aircraft represents a substantial milestone for AerCap and Airbus in developing the conversion project. AerCap’s expansion into the freighter segment with the A320 P2F will further advance the diversification of our asset and customer base and provide residual value enhancement for older A320 aircraft.”
West Atlantic is the brand name of the West Air Europe Group and used in support of its cargo airline business that includes West Air Sweden, Atlantic Airlines of the UK and West Air Luxembourg. West Air Sweden started flying in 1962, commenced cargo operations in 1991 and undertook a major expansion into Swedish overnight mail services in 1996 and similarly so in Norway in 2006. Atlantic Airlines was created in 2004 as an MBO from the Air Atlantic Group, itself established in 1969. West Air Luxembourg commenced operations in 2003. West Atlantic currently operates over 50 aircraft including BAe ATP, ATR-72, Boeing 737-300, Lockheed Electra, and Bombardier CRJ-200-PF and Q400-F.
AerCap is the world’s leading independent aircraft leasing company. AerCap also provides engine leasing, aircraft management services, aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul services and aircraft disassemblies. AerCap is headquartered in The Netherlands and has offices in Ireland, the United States, China, Singapore and the United Kingdom.