Miami-based Global Crossing or GlobalX Airlines, the new entrant airline currently undergoing FAA certification using the Airbus A320 series, announced it has signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) with Singapore-based ST Engineering and the latter’s in-house leasing arm Aviation Asset Management to lease five incremental converted A321-200 passenger-to-freighter (P2F) aircraft.
The maintenance provider said it would acquire the A321-200s for conversion either on its own or through its joint venture firms. The first of the quintet is set to enter conversion in April 2022 and deliver to GlobalX in the fourth quarter of the year. The other four units will be converted and delivered progressively.
ST Engineering announced last week that its wholly-owned Aviation Asset Management unit has entered into an agreement with Temasek, Singapore’s government-run investment fund, to set up a 50-50 joint venture (JV) for freighter aircraft leasing. The JV will address the growing demand for freighter aircraft as e-commerce and air cargo volumes expand across the globe. The JV targets to build a portfolio valued at about US$600 million within five years, investing in passenger aircraft to be converted into highly efficient freighters. ST Engineering will provide the associated maintenance, repair and overhaul services to these aircraft. In addition, ST Engineering will be the asset and lease manager to the JV, consistent with the group’s aviation asset management business model.
Yip Hin Meng, EVP/Head of Aviation Asset Management, ST Engineering said, “We are delighted to be able to support GlobalX as they make their foray into the growing air freight market with our end-to-end Aviation Asset Management solutions. When working with ST Engineering, GlobalX can be assured of best-in-class solutions for these A321P2F aircraft’s entry into service and maintenance, all from a single life-cycle solution provider.”
In October 2020, GlobalX signed a LoI with Vallair for ten A321-200 P2Fs of which five were confirmed for conversion by ST Engineering.
GlobalX Chairman Ed Wegel confirmed that the five newly ordered aircraft are on top of the ten previously signed, increasing the start-up’s freighter fleet to fifteen A321-200 P2Fs.
“We are extraordinarily pleased and honoured to be working with ST Engineering on our fleet of A321P2F, which is a game-changer in the air freight industry. We look forward to working very closely with ST Engineering, a world-class solution provider in aircraft maintenance and freighter conversion, and subsequently in other ways as we grow GlobalX,” said Ed Wegel.
In April 2021, GlobalX secured a USD10 million investment from Ascent Global Logistics, which it said would partially fund its expansion into the freighter market later in 2021.
GlobalX plans to operate a two-pronged business model based on the passenger and cargo niches. In terms of its passenger operations, the company aims to provide charter capacity for major airlines, tour operators, professional and collegiate sports teams, casinos, and corporate groups, as well as direct-to-consumer charters under its Part 380 regulations out of its bases at Miami International and Atlantic City.
GlobalX has taken delivery of one A320 and one A321 aircraft as it prepares for revenue operations. Subject to FAA and DOT approvals, GlobalX intends to fly as an ACMI and wet lease charter airline serving the US, Caribbean and Latin American markets starting early 2022.