Weekly Wrap: Here come the A321 freighters

The A321F has very much been the star of the past week, with the first aircraft converted to freighter configuration by 321 Precision Conversions taking flight, the first EFW frame leaving Singapore on delivery, and a new operator committing to the platform.   In this Cargo Facts Connect episode, Senior Editor Charles Kauffman and Associate Editor Jeff Lee discuss these developments and look ahead to […]

A321-200PCF completes first test flight

On Oct. 10, 321 Precision Conversions, a joint venture of Air Transport Services Group (ATSG) and Precision Aircraft Solutions, completed the first post-conversion test flight of its conformity A321-200PCF (891, ex-Air Mediterranee). The aircraft took to the skies above Sanford (SFB), where touch labor for the conversion was performed at the Avocet MRO Services facility. […]

Planes on Pause: COVID forces aircraft into storage

On July 8, a 767-300ER (25583) previously operated by Air Canada Rouge and parked at Kansas City (MCI) touched down at Pinal Airpark (MZJ), followed by two more Air Canada 767-300s in the next two days. All three planes, considered suitable conversion feedstock, have been inducted into storage programs at Ascent Aviations Services, located at […]

Crisis could diversify next-gen narrowbody leasing market

Minneapolis (MSP) is not a base for all-cargo carriers, and yet a freshly painted 737-800BCF (32605, ex-Hainan Airlines) landed at the airport on June 26, having arrived empty from Everett (PAE). The aircraft had arrived in Everett in early June after conversion to freighter configuration by Boeing in China. In the past three months, GECAS, […]

Return to the skies of passengers doesn’t spell the end of passenger freighters

Even as passengers return to the skies, passenger freighters aren’t immediately headed for their demise. The uptick in passenger flights recorded from mid-June onward has not led to an immediate end to the use of passenger aircraft for cargo-only service. Although some aircraft have traded out cargo for passengers — or at least a mix […]

Reconfigured passenger-freighter fleet tops 130

More than 130 passenger aircraft have now been reconfigured for cargo by removing seats from the main-deck cabin, according to Cargo Facts research. Meanwhile, the total number of passenger freighters, which includes aircraft that have not had seats removed, has grown to more than 1,800. Airlines that have opted to reconfigure passenger cabins have done […]

‘COVID-19 freighter fleet’ tops 350

The number of aircraft that carriers have operated for the sole purpose of transporting cargo during the COVID-19 crisis has more than doubled in the past two weeks to more than 350, based on analysis by Cargo Facts. See also: 130+ passenger aircraft added to ‘COVID-19 freighter fleet’ The nature of these makeshift freighter operations […]

Pandemic to boost feedstock availability for conversions [VIDEO]

Although passenger aviation faces the grim reality that it may take two to three years for traffic to bounce back to 2019 levels, feedstock for new and upcoming conversion programs, such as the 737-800 and A321-200, will soon be available at price points viable for conversion, said Doug Kelly, senior vice president of asset valuation […]
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