The US Federal Aviation Administration has awarded 321 Precision Conversions its Supplemental Type Certificate for its A321-200PCF programme.
The company, which is a joint venture between Air Transport Services Group (ATSG) and Precision Aircraft Solutions, said that its first conversion would soon begin operations following the granting of its STC.
Precision Aircraft Solutions president Gary Warner said: “This major accomplishment, achieved during an unprecedented Global pandemic, bears witness to the dedication of all involved; our team of hard working professionals, our customer Vallair Solutions, our ATSG partner, and all of our vendors.
“The first aircraft will shortly go into operations with Smartlynx Airlines Malta, and we look forward to supporting their endeavors. With this done, I am pleased to say that we are now commencing the necessary ramp-up of operations to support the high demand for this product.”
ATSG president and chief executive Rich Corrado said: “Our goal was to rejuvenate the world’s cargo aircraft fleet with next generation efficient and economical fly-by-wire aircraft; to produce an A321 freighter designed to be the best choice for the mission. We have done that. ATSG will also be providing direct conversion services for 321 Precision through our Pemco Conversions MRO in Tampa, FL with its first aircraft inducting in July.”
He added: “With huge backlogs of newly manufactured NEO aircraft poised to enter Global passenger service and a thousand Max jets entering service, the feed stock to support modern and efficient freighter conversions is now available to meet the needs of a burgeoning airfreight market.”
Several companies are in process of launching A321 converted freighters, which will compete with B737s. Lessor Vallair has also teamed up with Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW) of Germany and ST Aerospace of Singapore on one programme.
The first aircraft for this programme is in operation with Qantas.