APOC and SmartLynx collaborate to purchase four A321 airframes for freighter conversions


APOC Aviation and SmartLynx Airlines Ltd. have worked together to purchase a package of four Airbus A321 airframes. The frames, MSNs 941, 961, 1185 and 1241, were acquired in passenger configuration and will be converted into freighters, which will join the SmartLynx fleet early next year. The four additional cargo aircraft will bring the airline’s A321F fleet up to 15 active aircraft of the type by mid-2023.

According to Jasper van den Boogaard, vice president for Airframe Acquisition & Trading at APOC, the company was pleased to partner with SmartLynx to secure these assets. “We were quick to seize this versatile opportunity. Working closely with SmartLynx, the transaction has developed over the past two years and I’d like to thank their professional team for their continued commitment and confidence. Despite the constraints of COVID-19, we are very pleased to expand the business relationship between our two companies.”

Van den Boogaard, who is an ISTAT Certified Appraiser, observes the fluctuations in aircraft asset valuations closely. He said “The A321 is an interesting asset because it can be converted to a freighter and there is significant activity in this sector of the market right now. It can also be used for low-cost/long-haul operations (because of its efficiency and range) and it is attractive for part out. The flexibility to utilise any one of these three options made this an exceptional opportunity for the business.”

Zygimantas Surintas, Smartlynx Airlines CEO, also emphasised that efficient partnerships like this are crucial for successful carrier’s involvement in the A321 conversion programme. “We are happy to cooperate with both the seller and APOC – the transaction was beneficial to all parties, for each in its own way. Acquiring four well-maintained sister-ship airframes was an important addition to the SmartLynx Airlines conversion chain, which begins with sourcing the right feedstock as a first step. Because of that, SmartLynx is becoming an active player in the secondary market of A321-200 airframes, as well as CFM56-5B and V2500 engine types. It is more than certain, that here developing solid relationships is the key.”

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