March 13, 2013
Pemco World Air Services this year is on course to double its freighter conversion of Boeing 737-300 and -400 aircraft and soon will announce a program for a new 737 variant, Kevin Casey, president of the Tampa, Fla.-based conversion and maintenance company tells Aviation Week.
Casey says he cannot disclose the new conversion variant because third parties’ boards of directors have yet to approve an announcement.
The expanded portfolio would come at a busy time for Pemco, which went through a bankruptcy court-supervised restructuring in 2012. The company completed about nine conversions last year, Casey says, but expects to complete 16-20 in 2013.
A little more than half of the 2013 conversions will be 737-300s, says Casey, and about two-thirds of them will be full conversions to freighters. The rest will be combi-freighters or quick-change aircraft.
Casey says several factors are contributing to this year’s increase in conversions, including low acquisition costs on the aircraft and high fuel costs and aircraft age restrictions. The storage and retirement of Boeing 737 Classics increased by nearly 25% in 2012, according to the Aviation Week Intelligence Network fleets database.
Casey says Pemco also is looking for ways to grow its maintenance, repair and overhaul business, which most likely will involve expanding its capacity in Tampa or the “immediate vicinity.” The company is discussing that option with the local airport authority and some state officials, Casey adds.