IndiGo to acquire four A321ceo planes, convert them into freighter aircraft

IndiGo has initiated a freighter programme and is in the process of sourcing four A321ceo aircraft, each of which will be converted from passenger jets to a full-freighter configuration, the carrier said on Wednesday.

Business Standard had earlier reported about IndiGo’s plan to acquire frieghters.

IndiGo is expected to take the delivery of its first freighter in the first half of next year. The plane will be used for both domestic and regional missions. The other three aircraft in the initial commitment are likely to arrive within a year or so from the arrival of the first freighter, and further aircraft may be sourced depending on market development.

A Letter of Intent has been signed with a lessor for two aircraft already, and IndiGo expects to reach an agreement for the next two shortly, the firm said in a statement. Building on the CarGo business, the initiative will use the same pool of pilots and engineers that fly and service IndiGo’s current fleet.

“IndiGo was already the largest carrier of cargo in domestic India before Covid-19, and we expect the market to continue to grow after the pandemic,” Ronojoy Dutta, Chief Executive Officer and Wholetime Director, IndiGo, said in the statement.

The A321P2F (Passenger-to-Freighter conversion) is the most efficient narrow-bodied freighter available, offering 24 container positions and supporting a payload of up to 27 tonnes, the statement said. These are being converted through a programme involving ST Engineering and Airbus with their joint venture, Elbe FlugzeugWerke (EFW), it added.

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