Singapore Technologies Aerospace has set up five Boeing 757 passenger-to-freighter cargo conversion lines to meet the 87-aircraft order placed by FedEx Express last year.

ST Aero president Tay Kok Khiang says that the company's US facility, ST Mobile Aerospace Engineering (MAE), now has three dedicated 757 cargo conversion lines. MAE has already redelivered two 757-200SFs to FedEx and one 757 convertible multi-mission aircraft to the Royal New Zealand Air Force. FedEx's third 757-200SF is now in the final stages of being converted at ST Aero's facility at Singapore's Seletar airport and will be redelivered shortly. Work on an additional aircraft is also under way at ST Aero's facility at Singapore's Paya Lebar airport.

From later this year there will be two 757 conversion lines at Paya Lebar as ST Aero has decided it will be unable to fly 757s into and out of Seletar as the airport undergoes an upgrade project and runway extension. As a result, ST Aero will run two 757 cargo conversion lines at Paya Lebar for the next two years, after which both lines will switch to Seletar. The country's secondary airport is being redeveloped into a maintenance, repair and overhaul hub.

Tay says that on average ST Aero will redeliver 10 aircraft a year to FedEx over the next nine years. He adds that in the first year of the programme slightly fewer aircraft will be converted, but the programme will subsequently ramp up to about 10 a year.

Tay says converting 757s at ST Aero's new Panamanian facility, Panama Aerospace Engineering (PAE), is also "a possibility" but for now he prefers that PAE focuses on building experience with MRO work.

He says ST Aero's Paya Lebar facility also continues to covert Boeing MD-11s and in May delivered the first Boeing 767 converted freighter.

ST Aero now has one 767 cargo conversion line at Paya Lebar and it has the capacity to open a second line. This ultimately will depend on market conditions. He says ST Aero now has commitments in place to convert 17 767s for the Boeing-led 767-300BCF programme. This includes seven for All Nippon Airways, including the one already delivered, and 10 for lessor Q Aviation.

Source: Flight International