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ILNFlyer
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ATSG’s PEMCO Receives FAA Approval for its Boeing 737-700 FlexCombi Conversion Program

Wed Jul 15, 2020 6:16 pm

Exciting news.

TAMPA, Fla. – July 15, 2020 – Air Transport Services Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATSG) announced today that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has approved its Passenger-to-FlexCombi™ conversion program for the Boeing 737-700 Next Generation aircraft.

ATSG said the FAA issued a Supplemental Type Certification for its unique conversion design for the Boeing 737-700, offering customers two different main-deck freight and passenger configurations as well as full-freighter mode. The aircraft will be marketed as B737-700FC (FlexCombi™). PEMCO Conversions, a division of ATSG subsidiary Pemco World Air Services, Inc., developed and managed the program from its headquarters in Tampa, FL.


I wonder how many customers are in the market for this.
 
Newark727
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Re: ATSG’s PEMCO Receives FAA Approval for its Boeing 737-700 FlexCombi Conversion Program

Wed Jul 15, 2020 6:26 pm

Add a gravel kit on top of it, and it sounds like a decent replacement for the 737-200Cs still flying the Canadian backcountry. Not sure if a gravel kit for the 737-700 is something that's actually feasible, though.
 
argentinevol98
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Re: ATSG’s PEMCO Receives FAA Approval for its Boeing 737-700 FlexCombi Conversion Program

Wed Jul 15, 2020 6:26 pm

ILNFlyer wrote:

I wonder how many customers are in the market for this.


I have to think very few but there's a decent chance some charter outfit will buy a pair. Maybe there is a small international military market as well.
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AV8AJET
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Re: ATSG’s PEMCO Receives FAA Approval for its Boeing 737-700 FlexCombi Conversion Program

Wed Jul 15, 2020 6:31 pm

Delta is about to park 10 737-700’s. Maybe the initial batch?
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Newark727
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Re: ATSG’s PEMCO Receives FAA Approval for its Boeing 737-700 FlexCombi Conversion Program

Wed Jul 15, 2020 6:32 pm

AV8AJET wrote:
Delta is about to park 10 737-700’s. Maybe the initial batch?


Don't think they'd be able to find customers for all ten straight off, though they are reasonably new and might make good candidates for conversion.
 
Flaps
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Re: ATSG’s PEMCO Receives FAA Approval for its Boeing 737-700 FlexCombi Conversion Program

Wed Jul 15, 2020 6:39 pm

Newark727 wrote:
Add a gravel kit on top of it, and it sounds like a decent replacement for the 737-200Cs still flying the Canadian backcountry. Not sure if a gravel kit for the 737-700 is something that's actually feasible, though.


The gravel kits are becoming less necessary as more and more gravel runways are getting paved. Its not as important as it once was but the combi ability certainly is. This could work out well.
 
32andBelow
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Re: ATSG’s PEMCO Receives FAA Approval for its Boeing 737-700 FlexCombi Conversion Program

Wed Jul 15, 2020 6:46 pm

Newark727 wrote:
Add a gravel kit on top of it, and it sounds like a decent replacement for the 737-200Cs still flying the Canadian backcountry. Not sure if a gravel kit for the 737-700 is something that's actually feasible, though.

Not going to work with the big intakes
 
VSMUT
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Re: ATSG’s PEMCO Receives FAA Approval for its Boeing 737-700 FlexCombi Conversion Program

Wed Jul 15, 2020 6:47 pm

AV8AJET wrote:
Delta is about to park 10 737-700’s. Maybe the initial batch?


Or I don't know, any of the hundreds of other 737-700s that are sitting jobless around the world? Delta isn't the only airline in existence. 737-700s have been retiring and getting parted out for scrap en-masse for several years now, even before the economy crashed. KLM, Transavia, SAS, most of the Chinese airlines, GOL just to name a few have been or are planning to retire them. There are hundreds of 737-700s available.
 
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9lflyguy
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Re: ATSG’s PEMCO Receives FAA Approval for its Boeing 737-700 FlexCombi Conversion Program

Wed Jul 15, 2020 6:55 pm

Not to stir the pot here but does anyone think we could see airlines starting their own cargo operation. Say southwest converting some of their 737s into freighters or buying a few freighters to have some diversified revenue during this downturn?
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CALMSP
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Re: ATSG’s PEMCO Receives FAA Approval for its Boeing 737-700 FlexCombi Conversion Program

Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:23 pm

9lflyguy wrote:
Not to stir the pot here but does anyone think we could see airlines starting their own cargo operation. Say southwest converting some of their 737s into freighters or buying a few freighters to have some diversified revenue during this downturn?


WN? I doubt it. They carry only limited size cargo as it is right now with their pax 737's. The likes of UA/DL/AA possibly given their wide body feed that they could connect to.
 
Dominion301
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Re: ATSG’s PEMCO Receives FAA Approval for its Boeing 737-700 FlexCombi Conversion Program

Wed Jul 15, 2020 8:07 pm

Newark727 wrote:
Add a gravel kit on top of it, and it sounds like a decent replacement for the 737-200Cs still flying the Canadian backcountry. Not sure if a gravel kit for the 737-700 is something that's actually feasible, though.


It’ll be at least 10 before Canadian North will be in the market for a 733/734 replacement. This would certainly be attractive to them with to possible combi configurations. This isn’t a 732 combi replacement though. Either YCO and YCB get paved or eventually they become all-turboprop markets and 5T purchase AT7 combis or the bigger DH4 combi.
 
ILNFlyer
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Re: ATSG’s PEMCO Receives FAA Approval for its Boeing 737-700 FlexCombi Conversion Program

Wed Jul 15, 2020 8:50 pm

9lflyguy wrote:
Not to stir the pot here but does anyone think we could see airlines starting their own cargo operation. Say southwest converting some of their 737s into freighters or buying a few freighters to have some diversified revenue during this downturn?


Airlines may like the fact it is certified for multiple configurations.

Link to the news article:
https://apnews.com/18d816da6a3d47d5a68604ecd569b229
 
alpine1989
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Re: ATSG’s PEMCO Receives FAA Approval for its Boeing 737-700 FlexCombi Conversion Program

Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:28 pm

Fantastic news for WN as they retire older -700s!
 
wjcandee
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Re: ATSG’s PEMCO Receives FAA Approval for its Boeing 737-700 FlexCombi Conversion Program

Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:41 pm

ATSG's subsidiary ATI operates what I think are the only 4 currently-operating Part 121 Combi jets in the U.S. (N751CX, N752CX, N753CX, N754CX). That would make you think they had some insight into how few customers there are for Combi operations, at least from the US. Basically, the only customer is the US Military, and they keep 2 or 3 of the 4 ATI 757 combis moderately-busy, to be generous.

So I'm not sure where the market is supposed to be for this thing. I suspect they'll do better with the straight conversion, the STC for which should be along soon.

Of course, ATSG's big coup will be the A321 Precision Conversion, which ATSG basically-financed through its joint venture with Precision. That's going to be a winner, and I think will be the preferred architecture over the EFW version, which makes tradeoffs to keep it consistent with EFW's A320 conversion. Precision is just focusing on the 321, which will be a vastly-more-capable freighter than the 320.
 
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aemoreira1981
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Re: ATSG’s PEMCO Receives FAA Approval for its Boeing 737-700 FlexCombi Conversion Program

Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:36 pm

An A321 flex combi could have some potential as well...if there can be a configuration of all pax, all cargo, or somewhere in between (but preferably being able to convert a plane to all pax and all cargo---flying passengers at day and cargo at night). Jet2 until recently had B733 quick change models. That said, a combi A321 would have an advantage of being flexible for areas needing cargo but not being able to support a 200-seat plane.
 
B6WNQX
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Re: ATSG’s PEMCO Receives FAA Approval for its Boeing 737-700 FlexCombi Conversion Program

Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:16 am

Could AS do this for their Alaska operations? This could supplement their full freighter ops and/or give them some more flexibility.
 
miegapele
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Re: ATSG’s PEMCO Receives FAA Approval for its Boeing 737-700 FlexCombi Conversion Program

Thu Jul 16, 2020 3:56 am

But A.net members were saying new combi aircraft are impossible due to more stringent fire safety requirements. How does this one work?
 
ILNFlyer
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Re: ATSG’s PEMCO Receives FAA Approval for its Boeing 737-700 FlexCombi Conversion Program

Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:29 pm

I was thinking there might be a better market for the aircraft in SE Asia or Africa.
 
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Revelation
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Re: ATSG’s PEMCO Receives FAA Approval for its Boeing 737-700 FlexCombi Conversion Program

Thu Jul 16, 2020 5:09 pm

miegapele wrote:
But A.net members were saying new combi aircraft are impossible due to more stringent fire safety requirements. How does this one work?

The "old" combis did not have fixed configurations, this one does according to the AP link above:

The PEMCO B737-700FC (FlexCombi™) offers three configurations: a 24-seat cabin plus a 2,640-cubic-foot cargo hold for up to 30,000 pounds of payload in six pallet positions; a 12-seat 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.


I presume these configurations are selected at order time and are permanent in order to meet the "new" FAA rules, but I could be wrong on that.
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