ATSG to purchase Airbus A321s for freighter conversion

Departments - Maintenance, Repair, & Overhaul

July 20, 2021

The A321-200PCF offers a standard payload of approximately 59,680 lb (27,070 kg)

Wilmington, Ohio-based Air Transport Services Group (ATSG)’s leasing business Cargo Aircraft Management (CAM) plans to purchase two Airbus A321-200 passenger aircraft, one this year and a second in Q1 2022.

Freighter conversion of the first aircraft will begin in Q4 2021 with its redelivery to a CAM dry-lease customer, projected for Q2 2022. The second aircraft will begin freighter conversion then, with redelivery projected during Q4 2022.

Both aircraft will undergo passenger-to-freighter conversion at ATSG’s PEMCO Conversions facilities in Tampa, Florida, which already has inducted an A321-200 for conversion. PEMCO Conversions’ engineering design for passenger-to-freighter conversion was approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in April and is owned by 321 Precision Conversions, an ATSG and Precision Aircraft Solutions joint venture.

Mike Berger, chief commercial officer of ATSG, says the passenger-to-freighter (PCF) conversion design for the A321-200 is well suited for air-express service and e-commerce fulfillment over shorter routes and with smaller payloads as a complement to ATSG’s existing fleet of more than 85 larger Boeing 767 converted freighters.

The A321-200PCF conversion design 321 Precision Conversions developed offers the flexible TELAIR main-deck cargo loading system and a lower deck compatible with bulk, sliding carpet, or containerized cargo. Its operating empty weight is nearly 3,000 lb (1,360kg) lighter than its closest rival.

ATSG President and CEO Rich Corrado adds, “We will continue to invest in this airframe to grow our narrowbody leasing opportunity globally to support integrators, e-commerce, and express delivery customers."