RAYA AIRWAYS WELCOMES SOUTHEAST ASIA’S FIRST AIRBUS A321P2F
Kuala Lumpur, 22 May 2023 – Raya Airways Sdn Bhd (“Raya”), today welcomed Southeast Asia’s first Airbus A321 Passenger-to-Freighter aircraft (“A321P2F”), which offers the carrier an additional payload capacity of over 27.5 tonnes of cargo per flight and a range of 3,778km on maximum payload. The freighter aircraft is leased from ST Engineering’s joint venture company, Juniper Aviation Investments and managed by ST Engineering’s aviation asset management business, while the conversion was carried out by Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW), a joint venture between ST Engineering and Airbus.
Raya has expanded its fleet with the addition of the A321P2F, bringing its total fleet count to six. The A321P2F will enhance the carrier’s capabilities to cater to a wider customer base, expand its network reach and improve its cargo handling capacity.
In line with its strategic direction to fortify its network and flight frequency, Raya has demonstrated its commitment to growth through a significant increase in its international flight operations. In 2022, Raya intensified its international flights to/from Nanning (China), with a surge from four to eleven flights weekly. Similarly, flights to/from Singapore were increased from four to nine flights weekly, and flights to/from Jakarta (Indonesia), from five to seven flights weekly. The carrier’s proactive approach to new market expansion is further exemplified by its introduction of weekly flights to Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi (Vietnam).
Raya’s Group Managing Director, Mohamad Najib Ishak, said, “I am thrilled to mark this momentous occasion as we embrace a new era of sustainable air cargo transportation with the introduction of the fuel-efficient A321P2F aircraft in Southeast Asia. The aircraft’s high containerised cargo volume, space-efficient door configuration, balanced centre of gravity, and flexible cargo-loading system make it ideally suited to the diverse range of cargo we cater to. Such flexibility is instrumental in paving the way for a scalable and sustainable future for our company,”
“We are delighted that the A321P2F provides optimal economic efficiency, cargo capacity, and performance in the single-aisle freighter segment, allowing us to broaden our market reach and customer base, aligned with our strategic growth plans to deepen our presence in the Asia Pacific region. The arrival of this aircraft signifies our commitment to providing efficient, sustainable and reliable air transportation solutions to our customers,” he added.
Raya’s Chief Commercial Officer, MD Hidayat Rahim, said, “The e-commerce arena is becoming increasingly competitive, requiring us to exercise prudent judgement at every juncture. Our fleet plays a pivotal role in determining operational efficiency, and we are thrilled to announce that this fuel-efficient aircraft is the first of many to join our fleet.”
“Over the past years, we have made significant efforts to establish our presence and penetrate new markets, even amidst adverse conditions. The leasing of such fleet will enable us to tackle the upcoming year with increased confidence, affording us the ability to serve a greater number of customers, offer additional routes, and transport more freight,” he added.
Yip Hin Meng, EVP and Head of Aviation Asset Management at ST Engineering, said, “We are excited to be the solution provider that introduces the very first A321P2F aircraft for service in Southeast Asia through our partnership with Raya Airways. This is made possible by ST Engineering’s total lifecycle asset management capabilities, which offer operators such as Raya Airways integrated solutions including world-class, OEM-backed freighter conversion and lease management programmes. Through the provision of comprehensive solutions under one roof, we aim to provide airlines and operators the peace of mind to focus on their flight operations while we see to their asset management needs.”
About Raya Airways:
Raya Airways is one of Malaysia’s leading and most trusted logistics solutions providers. The carrier offers a comprehensive range of air freight solutions for businesses in Southeast Asia including air cargo transportation, aircraft charter services, ground handling services, repair and overhaul (MRO) and commercial cargo space selling, among others. Since taking flight in November 1993, Raya Airways has continuously built upon its wealth of experience, knowledge, expertise and commitment to excellent customer service within the industry. Raya Airways proudly connects and operates scheduled and charter air cargo services into major regional hubs such as China, Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam as well as prime commercial centres in East Malaysia, namely Kota Kinabalu, Tawau, Kuching and Labuan.
About ST Engineering:
ST Engineering is a global technology, defence and engineering group with a diverse portfolio of businesses across the aerospace, smart city, defence and public security segments. The Group harnesses technology and innovation to solve real-world problems, enabling a more secure and sustainable world. Headquartered in Singapore, it has operations spanning Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the U.S., serving customers in more than 100 countries. ST Engineering reported revenue of $9b in FY2022 and ranks among the largest companies listed on the Singapore Exchange. It is a component stock of the FTSE Straits Times Index, Dow Jones Sustainability Asia Pacific Index, iEdge SG ESG Transparency Index and iEdge SG ESG Leaders Index.
ST Engineering’s aviation asset management business is a full-fledged aircraft and engine lessor specialising in all aspects of the aircraft leasing process including deal origination, financing, securitisation, lease management, technical asset management, re-marketing, and end-of-lease services. Its total lifecycle asset management solutions include freighterconversions, turnkey aircraft and cabin re-configuration services, as well as aircraft and engine MRO. Through EFW, ST Engineering is the only global conversion house with Airbus P2F programmes developed using OEM technical data from Airbus. EFW’s family of Airbus P2F programmes – A320P2F, A321P2F and A330P2F – are developed in collaboration with ST Engineering and Airbus, with EFW holding the Supplemental Type Certificate and leading in the overall programmes as well as marketing and sales efforts.
ST Engineering set up Juniper Aviation Investments as a 50/50 joint venture (JV) company with Temasek Holdings in August 2021 to address the growing demand for freighter aircraft as ecommerce and air cargo volumes expand across the globe. The JV targets to build a portfolio valued at about US$600m (or about S$800m), investing in passenger aircraft to be converted into highly efficient freighters. In addition to being a JV partner, ST Engineering also provides the associated maintenance, repair and overhaul service options for these aircraft, and serves as the asset and lease manager to the JV.