ATSG leasing subsidiary PEMCO starts first Airbus passenger-to-freighter conversion

News Journal

TAMPA, Fla. — Wilmington-based Air Transport Services Group, Inc. (ATSG) announced that its leasing subsidiary Cargo Aircraft Management has begun its first Airbus A321 aircraft for passenger-to-freighter conversion.

PEMCO Conversions, a division of wholly owned ATSG subsidiary Pemco World Air Services, Inc., inducted the aircraft Tuesday for conversion at its Tampa facility, ATSG announced in a news release.

The aircraft will undergo the A321-200PCF freighter conversion developed by 321 Precision Conversions, a joint venture of ATSG and Oregon-based Precision Aircraft Solutions. The supplemental type certificate (STC) for the conversion received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration in April 2021.

“The induction of this aircraft is significant because it encapsulates the execution of our strategy to offer 360 degrees of service for the aircraft we lease,” said Rich Corrado, president and chief executive officer of ATSG. “We are able to purchase a passenger aircraft, convert it to freighter configuration in-house using the STC developed through our joint venture, then lease it to a customer along with options for ongoing maintenance support, ground support and airport operations, and CMI services for seamless, turn-key operation.

”This convenient bundled services approach allows our customers to introduce new aircraft quickly to meet the demands of the growing e-commerce segment.”

The A321-200PCF delivers the highest available payload with unmatched versatility, offering the flexible TELAIR main deck cargo loading system and a lower lobe compatible with bulk, sliding carpet, or containerized systems, according to the news release. It has an operating empty weight over 2,000 pounds lighter than its closest rival and has been optimized for maximum revenue loads, profitability, fuel efficiency, and room for supernumeraries.

“The A321-200PCF is very well suited for global air-express service and e-commerce fulfillment over shorter routes,” said Mike Berger, chief commercial officer of ATSG. “It combines next generation efficiency with best-in-platform cargo capacity, crew amenities, and efficiency. It represents an opportunity for Boeing 757 operators to modernize their fleet, offering, for example, a 13 percent improvement in fuel efficiency over a Boeing 757-200 series freighter.

“Additionally, switching to the A321-200PCF allows operators of the Boeing 737-800 to expand their air cargo capacity to meet additional market demand.”

CAM’s first A321-200PCF conversions are under LOI to Malaysia-based Raya Airways, which provides air cargo service to more than 10 locations across the Asia-Pacific region.


PEMCO Conversions, a division of Pemco World Air Services, Inc., serves customers from airlines to private aircraft operators. PEMCO is the global leader in narrow-body passenger-to-freighter aircraft conversions, having developed over 70 FAA-approved aircraft modifications and modified over 350 aircraft.

Pemco World Air Services, Inc. and Airborne Maintenance and Engineering Services, Inc., wholly owned subsidiaries of Air Transport Services Group, Inc. with separately certified repair stations, offer 320,000 sq. ft. of hangar space in Tampa and 315,000 square feet of hangar space in Wilmington, providing a range of services to the aviation sector including heavy maintenance, line maintenance, cargo conversions, engineering services, material sales and manufacturing.

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About ATSG

ATSG is a leading provider of aircraft leasing and air cargo transportation and related services to domestic and foreign air carriers and other companies that outsource their air cargo lift requirements.

ATSG, through its leasing and airline subsidiaries, is the world’s largest lessor of freighter aircraft as well as the world’s largest owner and operator of converted Boeing 767 freighter aircraft. Through its principal subsidiaries, including three airlines with separate and distinct U.S. FAA Part 121 Air Carrier certificates, ATSG provides aircraft leasing, air cargo lift, passenger ACMI and charter services, aircraft maintenance services and airport ground services.

ATSG’s subsidiaries include ABX Air, Inc.; Airborne Global Solutions, Inc.; Airborne Maintenance and Engineering Services, Inc., including its subsidiary, Pemco World Air Services, Inc.; Air Transport International, Inc.; Cargo Aircraft Management, Inc.; and Omni Air International, LLC.

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