FRANKFURT, GERMANY — Frankfurt-based startup airline USC is planning to operate converted Airbus A340 freighters and has finalized an arrangement for modification with Avensis Aviation from the UK.

USC is strategizing to cater to long-haul routes with A340-300s and -600s starting this summer.

Initially, USC intends to perform wet-lease passenger services, with the goal of providing converted freighter services in the long run.

USC has chosen the Avensis full-size main-deck cargo door, making it the inaugural customer for the conversion.

Avensis asserts that the modification – branded as the Navis PTF – includes an "industry-first plug-type" door, a Class E cargo compartment, cargo-loading system, and a rigid 9g barrier.

The modification also includes a distinct crew cabin.

However, Avensis will initially offer an interim solution, modifying the aircraft into a Class E freighter with its Medius PTF product.

This adjustment will enable USC to kickstart its revenue cargo services while the Navis conversion components are being produced.

Avensis proclaims that Navis sets a new standard for cargo-door conversion, providing reduced conversion downtime and enabling more flexible, swift, and cost-effective operational performance.

CEO Cristian Sutter asserts that the A340 offers a "competitive" freighter platform for the express cargo market, combining payload, volume, and performance on long-haul routes to areas like the Asia-Pacific region.

He emphasizes that their conversion is targeted at leasing companies and established cargo airlines looking for a durable, innovative, and cost-effective passenger-to-freighter solution. The firm maintains that the electrically operated main-deck door is lightweight, and the locking mechanism makes the modification "safer."

Airbus has delivered 377 A340s, inclusive of 131 A340-500/600s, and its most recent backlog data shows that 200 of these aircraft remain in operation.