Wet-lease specialist SmartLynx Airlines is to provide one of its Airbus A321 freighters to Brazilian firm Levu Air Cargo, which will be the first Latin American company to operate the type.

The aircraft – MSN775 – will be provided under a dry-lease arrangement, says SmartLynx.

It is being placed on the Brazilian registry as PS-LVU, having previously been assigned to Malta as 9H-CGD. The aircraft, fitted with CFM International CFM56 engines, was originally delivered to Airworld in 1998.

Campinas-based Levu recently stated that it had entered a strategic partnership with DHL Aviation which will involve two A321 freighters and a converted A330 freighter.

It says the cargo operation will initially feature connections between Campinas, Recife and Manaus. The first A321 freighter has been transferred to Recife.

Levu A321 freighter-c-Levu Air Cargo

Source: Levu Air Cargo

Levu will be the first Latin American company to take the modified A321

“We are expanding the country’s air capacity and connectivity, offering more efficient and reliable solutions for cargo transportation, and boosting the development of agribusiness, industry and e-commerce,” says Levu.

The company says it is carrying out the “final steps” of obtaining an air operator’s certificate from Brazilian regulator ANAC, and expects to complete the process in June.

“We specifically sought out SmartLynx due to their extensive knowledge of the aircraft,” says Levu chief executive Rodrigo Pacheco.

“Their partnership with DHL in Europe makes the learning curve much more efficient for us as we will operate for the DHL supply chain here in Brazil.”

SmartLynx has been building a fleet of A321 converted freighters to support its charter and lease services.

“This important step is a part of our strategic efforts to expand our geography and we see much potential in this region,” says chief Edvinas Demenius, adding that the partnership with Levu is a “significant milestone”.