The 757 conversion market heats up

Precision signed an agreement to convert more 757-200s for DHL. Photo: Lans Stout
Precision signed an agreement to convert more 757-200s for DHL. Photo: Lans Stout

For the last few years, the 757 -200 passenger-to-freighter conversion market has been driven primarily  by FedEx. There has been a slow, but steady, trickle of orders from other carriers, particularly DHL Express and SF Express, but with FedEx nearing the end of its 757 binge, it appeared that demand for the type would decline.

However, a recent announcement from Monaco-based aircraft lessor and financial advisor Stratos indicates otherwise. Stratos said it had sourced six 757-200s “on behalf of one of the world’s leading freight integrators,” with one of the six already delivered. Cargo Facts believes the already-delivered aircraft is ex-Nordwind unit 29380 (formerly leased from AerCap), which was recently inducted for conversion by Precision Aircraft Solutions at the Flightstar facility in Jacksonville. No announcement has been made regarding the end user, but given that DHL has begun retiring its older 757 freighters, and that there are five more AerCap- and ILFC-owned ex-Nordwind 757-200s now available, it is likely that DHL is the “leading freight integrator” in the Stratos deal. The five are units 26332, 27351, 29442, 29443, and 30046.

As to the supplier of the conversions, Precision Aircraft Solutions VP Marketing & Sales Brian McCarthy announced at Cargo Facts Asia last month that Precision had booked an order from DHL Express for an unspecified, but significant, number of 757-200PCF conversions. DHL has more than 30 very old, Boeing-converted 757-200Fs in its fleet, and Cargo Facts expects the company will replace most of them over the next few years.

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