WILMINGTON, Ohio – Aviation maintenance and engineering company PEMCO World Air Services (PEMCO), a wholly owned subsidiary of Air Transport Services Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATSG), has launched its Passenger-to-FlexCombi™ and Passenger-to-Freighter conversion programs for the Boeing Next Generation 737-700 aircraft. The programs will be marketed as B737-700FC (FlexCombi™) and B737-700F (Freighter).
“We’re excited to finally announce the launch of our 700-series conversion programs for the Boeing 737,” said PEMCO Director of Conversion Programs Mike Andrews. “Over the past several months, we have worked closely with our customers to fully understand their requirements and implement a comprehensive solution.”
The launch customer for the PEMCO B737-700FC is Bahrain-based Chisholm Enterprises, an internationally recognized provider of tailored aviation and business solutions in the Middle East. Its subsidiary Texel Air, a non-scheduled cargo airline, will operate the B737-700FC from Bahrain International Airport.
“We made a significant investment to develop our specification for the FlexCombi™ to meet our operational requirements,” shared Chisholm Enterprises CEO George Chisholm. “I acknowledge the professionalism and support received from the PEMCO team during our extensive evaluation process culminating in PEMCO’s confirmation of proof of concept. This underwrote our decision to become the launch customer for the B737-700FC.”
Chisholm added, “We have also worked with PEMCO as the end customer for four previous B737-300 conversions including the current two aircraft in the Texel fleet. We have benefited from the trouble-free PEMCO cargo system since 2009. We are very confident of a successful partnership with PEMCO on the -700FC.”
PEMCO will induct the first aircraft for B737-700 Passenger-to-FlexCombi™ modification at PEMCO’s facilities in Tampa, Fla., during the second quarter of 2017. PEMCO expects to receive a U.S. Federal Aviation Administration supplemental type certification (STC) by mid-2018. After the initial issuance, PEMCO plans to certify both B737-700 conversion programs with the European Aviation Safety Agency and the Civil Aviation Administration of China shortly thereafter.
The first of its kind, the PEMCO B737-700FC offers three configurations: a 24-passenger cabin plus a 2,640-cubic-foot cargo hold for up to 30,000 pounds of payload in six pallet positions; a 12-passenger cabin plus a 3,005-cubic-foot cargo hold for up to 35,000 pounds of payload in seven pallet positions; or full-freighter mode consisting of a 3,370-cubic-foot cargo hold for up to 40,000 pounds of payload in eight pallet positions. The available positions will accommodate 88” x 125” or 88” x 108” pallets, with the seventh and eighth positions accommodating smaller pallets.
The B737-700F PEMCO-converted aircraft features nine pallet positions, up to 45,000 pounds of payload, and 3,844 cubic feet of total volume. The available positions will accommodate 88” x 125” or 88” x 108” pallets, with the ninth position accommodating a smaller pallet.
“This has been a very carefully thought out process for us,” PEMCO General Manager Pastor Lopez said. “We are leveraging our extensive knowledge and market leadership in the Boeing 737 Classic and designing a great product, at a sensible price, for our customers. Operators have responded very favorably to our entry into this space. Our engineering and quality teams have been working with the FAA very closely over the last year to address their points early on. This led us to have a project number ahead of schedule.”
Lopez added that “Chisholm is a great partner that provides unique services, and therefore requires the flexibility our B737-700 products will deliver. We are pleased to continue our long tradition of offering the best narrow-body freighter conversion programs in the world.”
PEMCO is the global leader in narrow-body passenger-to-freighter aircraft conversions, having developed over 70 STCs and modified over 350 aircraft. PEMCO’s 60-plus customers select the company’s passenger-to-freighter conversion for its superior cargo door and system, superior operating functions, on-time turnaround, and a track record of 2 million hours of safe, reliable operation.