ATSG Subsidiary Cargo Aircraft Management Inducts First A321 for Freighter Conversion

Air Transport Services Group’s leasing subsidiary, Cargo Aircraft Management, began its first Airbus A321 aircraft passenger-to-freighter conversion. PEMCO Conversions, a division of Pemco World Air Services, another wholly-owned subsidiary of Air Transport Services Group, inducted the aircraft for conversion at its facility in Tampa, FL, on March 8.

The aircraft will undergo the A321-200PCF freighter conversion developed by 321 Precision Conversions, a joint venture of Air Transport Services Group and Oregon-based Precision Aircraft Solutions. The supplemental type certificate (STC) for the conversion received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration in April 2021.

“The induction of this aircraft is significant because it encapsulates the execution of our strategy to offer 360 degrees of service for the aircraft we lease,” Rich Corrado, president and CEO of Air Transport Services Group, said. “We are able to purchase a passenger aircraft, convert it to freighter configuration in-house using the STC developed through our joint venture, then lease it to a customer along with options for ongoing maintenance support, ground support and airport operations and CMI services for seamless, turnkey operation. This convenient bundled services approach allows our customers to introduce new aircraft quickly to meet the demands of the growing e-commerce segment.”

The A321-200PCF offers the flexible TELAIR main deck cargo loading system and a lower lobe compatible with bulk, sliding carpet or containerized systems. It has an operating empty weight of more than 2,000 pounds (900 kilograms).

“The A321-200PCF is very well suited for global air-express service and e-commerce fulfillment over shorter routes,” Mike Berger, chief commercial officer of Air Transport Services Group, said. “It combines next generation efficiency with best-in-platform cargo capacity, crew amenities and efficiency. It represents an opportunity for Boeing 757 operators to modernize their fleet, offering, for example, a 13% improvement in fuel efficiency over a Boeing 757-200 series freighter. Additionally, switching to the A321-200PCF allows operators of the Boeing 737-800 to expand their air cargo capacity to meet additional market demand.”

Cargo Aircraft Management’s first A321-200PCF conversions are under a letter of intent with Malaysia-based Raya Airways, which provides air cargo services to more than 10 locations across the Asia-Pacific region.

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