KUALA LUMPUR, July 7 — Regional air cargo operator Raya Airways Sdn Bhd will be leasing four Airbus narrowbody passenger-to-freighter aircraft from ST Engineering’s aviation asset management business.

Raya Airways group managing director Mohamad Najib Ishak said in a statement today that the additional four craft — two A320P2F and two A321P2F — will enable the company to scale up operational capacity to meet growing demand.

“The air cargo industry, an integral part of the global supply chain, is expected to grow in tandem with the global economy. The recent industry outlook by the International Air Transport Association states that cargo volumes are expected to set a record high of 68.4 million tonnes in 2022 with cargo revenues expected to account for US$191 billion (RM846 billion) of industry revenues,” he said.

Najib said the four aircraft will be converted under the A320/A321P2F programme of Elbe Flugzeugwerke, a joint venture between ST Engineering and Airbus.

“Conversion for the first aircraft, an A321, has started at ST Engineering’s facility in Singapore with its expected delivery in the fourth quarter of 2022,” he said.

The statement said the A321P2F offers 27 tonnes when converted into a freighter, the A320P2F, 21 tonnes, effectively increasing Raya Airways’ combined payload by up to 96 tonnes.

ST Engineering’s aviation asset management business is a full-fledged aircraft and engine lessor with core competencies in deal origination, financing, securitisation, lease management, technical asset management, re-marketing and repossession. — Bernama