BlackRock’s Aviation Holdings III fund has acquired three ex-TUI Airways 757-200s along with three slots to convert the aircraft to freighter configuration with Precision Aircraft Solutions [FATs 006316-6318].
The conversion order follows BlackRock’s initial foray into 757 conversions earlier this year with the acquisition of an ex-Air Astana 757-200 (28833).
Starting in August, the four aircraft will be converted on a nose-to-tail basis at the HAECO facility in Xiamen, BlackRock confirmed to Cargo Facts. The first redelivery is expected in December.
BlackRock is already familiar with the platform, having recently sold a factory-built 757-200 freighter (24868) that came off-lease from ASL Airlines Belgium earlier this year. That aircraft is now in service with Spain-based Swiftair.
Like nearly all of BlackRock’s recent narrowbody freighter conversions, the aircraft investment and management fund is converting the 757s on a speculative basis and does not yet have operator LOIs in place for the freighters, once they are redelivered. BlackRock is in the process of converting seven 737-800s to freighter configuration with Aeronautical Engineers Inc., and so far, has found homes for the redelivered aircraft.
Apart from the 737-800SFs and incoming 757-200PCFs, BlackRock’s portfolio also comprises three 747-400Fs and at least one 737-400F.
Even as an established program, the 757F remains popular with existing operators of the type, and continues to attract new operators. Aviastar-TU, SF Airlines and Swiftair maintain fleets of 757s, and have plans to add more. Amerijet and Astral Aviation, meanwhile, are in the process of adding their first 757Fs, while earlier in June Cargojet took delivery of a 757-200PCF (29594, ex-American Airlines) it had purchased from AerSale.
Precision recently also completed unit 34008 (ex-Xiamen Airlines) at HAECO Xiamen and redelivered it to YTO Cargo Airlines in early June. Precision is targeting up to fifteen 757-200PCF redeliveries next year, the conversion house told Cargo Facts. Precision had previously expected around sixteen redeliveries in 2021.