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A321 freighter conversion proposed by US venture

Modification specialist Precision Aircraft Solutions is to offer a freight conversion programme for Airbus A321s, becoming the latest firm to propose a cargo option for the twinjet.

The Oregon-based company is embarking on the programme through a joint venture with Air Transport Services Group subsidiary Cargo Aircraft Management.

This venture has been branded 321 Precision Conversions.

It intends to secure approval for a supplemental type certificate for modification of the A321 in 2019, having looked into the possibility of converting the type over the past six years.

Precision Aircraft Solutions says it began "full-scale engineering" to develop the modification last year.

The company says the conversion will produce an aircraft with capacity similar to that available on the Boeing 757-200 freighter, while achieving operating costs "comparable" to 737 freighters.

This will make the A321 an "attractive platform" for express cargo network operators, it adds.

ATSG points out that it has previous links with Precision Aircraft through 757 conversions, and that the link will enable the two sides to "bring to market another high-quality, cost-effective freighter".

Precision intends to detail the conversion programme at a symposium in Miami at the beginning of October.

Airbus has previously unveiled conversion plans for A320-family aircraft, including the A321, while a similar effort had been undertaken by US firm PacAvi.

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