PEMCO World Air Services, in partnership with Canada-based Kelowna Flightcraft, is in the late stages of developing a multi-configuration 737-300 conversion program to meet the needs of Yellowknife-based carrier Canadian North, which has for some time been looking for a way to replace its four aging 737-200C aircraft.
The conversion will be based on several 737-300 STCs already held by PEMCO (large cargo door, cargo floor, Class E cargo compartment, smoke detection system), plus a new STC being developed by the PEMCO/Kelowna Flightcraft partnership. It is this last modification that will allow the converted aircraft to offer four configurations: all-cargo, all-passenger, plus two combi configurations with 30 and 86 seats, respectively. Cargo specifications for the various configurations have not been made public, but Cargo Facts believes that the basic all-cargo configuration will accommodate eight full-size (88 x 125 inch) pallets.
Conversion of the conformity aircraft (28594, from the Canadian North fleet) is underway at the Kelowna Flightcraft facility, and Kelowna President Tracy Medve was recently quoted as saying the partners hoped to have certification completed by the end of this year. And on the subject of certification, the PEMCO/Kelowna multi-configuration 737-300 will initially only be certified by the Canadian aviation regulator Transport Canada.
Obviously, a multi-configuration aircraft like this one could be desirable in places with geographical characteristics similar to Northern Canada – a big, sparsely populated region with very little opportunity for surface transportation. Northern and Eastern Russia, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and parts of Africa and Latin America are obvious candidates, but, for the present at least, the conversion will only be certified in Canada.