NATIONAL AIR CARGO, parent of US-based National Airlines, will have four 757-200 passenger aircraft converted to combi configuration by PEMCO WORLD AIR SERVICES. National tells Cargo Facts that earlier reports of a deal with ST AERO were incorrect, and that the first two units are in fact already in work at Pemco, with the second two to enter conversion next week. The first unit is scheduled to begin its flight test program in November.
National’s 757-200 Combi conversion will have main-deck space for ten pallets, and 46 seats in an Economy Plus passenger cabin. ST AEROSPACE has developed and delivered two multi-role military transport 757 conversions for the Royal New Zealand Air Force, but the Pemco conversions for National will be the first true commercial 757-200 passenger-to-combi conversions. (Pemco purchased the ALCOA-SIE 14.5-pallet 757-200 passenger-to-freighter conversion program last year, but that is a full-freighter conversion.)
All four of the National aircraft are Rolls-powered units built post-1989, and National points out that all four qualify for ETOPS upgrades and weight upgrades. The two units already in conversion are 24451 (ex-Ryan Air) and 26152 (ex-Avianca), while the two to enter conversion next week are 26154 (ex-Avianca), and 27259 (ex-Air China). National also has a recently-acquired a 757-200 pax unit (25592, ex-Avianca) undergoing a C-Check at Pemco’s Dothan facility, but that unit will be operated in passenger configuration and not converted.