Hindustan Aeronautics and Airbus Industrie have signed a memorandum of understanding to study cargo versions of the A320 family. Initially, the study will explore the commercial and technical aspects of the project.

Freighter, Quick Change and Convertible versions of the A319, 320 and 321 are under consideration. The aircraft would have a large cargo door, reinforced floor and roller tracks to allow easy loading of pallets.

Indian airlines will need up to 215 airliners worth $18.6 billion between now and 2017, according to Airbus Industrie.

About 124 of the aircraft will be single-aisle types, and the rest widebodies, says Airbus.

Indian carriers were operating 97 airliners at the end of last year and the entire fleet will need replacing within 20 years.

Source: Flight International