ST Engineering has converted one of the few 757-200 Combis in existence into full-freighter configuration.
The freighter (25622) emerged from the ST MRO facility in Singapore (XSP), where it had been for almost two years, and was redelivered to ASL Airlines. The carrier confirmed to Cargo Facts that the aircraft will return to the ASL Airlines Belgium fleet and enter service just in time for peak season. ASL operates two other 757-200Fs.
The aircraft is the first 757 to be converted from a Combi to a full freighter, and the conversion and approval process took longer than usual as it was “a unique event,” according to ASL. The pandemic added a further complication and delayed the certification by several months.
Although ST Engineering has been winding down its 757 conversion program as it shifts focus to A321-200P2Fs, the conversion is not as surprising as it is unique. Sources familiar with the aircraft believe the full-freighter conversion is linked to the original Combi conversion order. In 2011, Guggenheim Aviation Partners — now Altavair — ordered the 757-200 passenger-to-Combi conversion with ST, then known as ST Aerospace.
From the original delivery date until 2018, the aircraft was leased to NATO and operated on an ACMI basis by TNT Airways — now ASL Airlines Belgium, which owns the aircraft. With a large cargo door already installed, the full conversion was a less invasive process.
Precision converted one 757-200 (26273) into a Combi aircraft in 2013 for Air Transport International (ATI), which has three other 757 Combis.
ST declined to comment on the status of its 757 conversion program.