757-200 feedstock liberated from passenger service as a result of the COVID-19 crisis has catalyzed demand for freighter conversions.
After 757-200 conversions peaked in 2018, with nineteen redeliveries — seventeen from Precision Aircraft Solutions and two from ST Engineering — the number of 757-200s converted in 2019 dropped to eleven units, according to the Cargo Facts FAT database. This year the number of 757s converted will closely track 2019 figures, but a rebound is on the way for 2021, with about sixteen redeliveries expected, according to Precision.
“Rumors of the demise of the 757 have been greatly exaggerated by all those converters wanting to fill the void,” said Brian McCarthy, vice president marketing and sales of Precision.
McCarthy expects recent American 757 retirements to propel conversions, including a tranche of twenty-four aircraft recently acquired by AerSale. Of those twenty-four, McCarthy estimates about seventeen of the aircraft are of 1999 to 2001 vintage with cycles, avionics and operating weights in alignment with cargo market needs. Most of those conversions won’t happen until next year, or 2022.
Returning to this year, on Sept. 22, Precision Aircraft Solutions redelivered a 757-200PCF (27056, ex American) to New Zealand-based Airwork [FAT 005625]. The aircraft, converted at the AerSale facility at Goodyear (GYR), was Precision’s sixth 757-200PCF redelivery in 2020.
Four more aircraft are currently in conversion and are expected to be redelivered before year’s end, bringing the total number of 2020 redeliveries to at least ten units. The conversions are split between the AMECO facility in Chengdu (CTU), where two ex-TUI Airways aircraft (33100 and 33101) are being converted for SF Airlines, and AerSale, where two ex-American Airlines sisterships (27053 and 27054) are being converted. Cargo Facts believes the two units at AerSale are being converted for Airwork.
ST Engineering (Aerospace) last converted a 757-200 in 2018. ST’s focus has shifted to its A321-200P2F joint venture with Airbus. The company also converts 767s for Boeing at its Singapore MRO.
Precision, through its joint venture with ATSG, 321 Precision Conversions, is also in the final stages of developing its A321-200PCF.
While Cargo Facts Symposium 2020 will be presented as a virtual event, the unparalleled networking and continuing education opportunities remain, with the best and brightest minds addressing the most pressing industry issues for air cargo — including those around COVID-19. To register and for more information, visit www.cargofactssymposium.com.