ACIA Aero Leasing (“ACIA”), a leading provider of regional aircraft leasing and lease management services, and IPR Conversions (Switzerland) Limited (“IPRC”), a Supplemental Type Certificate (“STC”) holder for the conversion of ATR 42 and ATR 72 aircraft into freighters, announced today that the companies agreed to jointly convert a fleet of three ATR 72-600 aircraft into freighters.
Leveraging ACIA and IPRC’s track record of conversions across the entire ATR 72 regional aircraft family, this latest commitment will involve two ATR 72-600 Large Cargo Door (“LCD”) and one ATR 72-600 Bulk Freighter Cargo (“BFC”) conversions, further expanding both companies’ freighter portfolios. With agreements in place to conduct conversions in Europe, Canada, and the U.S.A., the companies will commence the first conversion in January 2023, with its completion expected by June 2023. The remaining two conversions are planned for the first quarter of 2023.
“Over the last 18 months, we have observed a shortage of good-quality ATR 72-500s available for conversion in the market, while witnessing a marked increase in the demand for the ATR 72-600, in both LCD and bulk freighter configurations. Now is the perfect time to start converting ATR 72-600 aircraft,” asserted ACIA Aero Leasing CEO Mick Mooney. “We are already in discussions with a number of potential operators about leasing these aircraft and expect to progress our discussions into firm lease commitments in the coming months.”
“IPRC’s STC already covers the ATR 42 and ATR 72 family of aircraft. With many conversions already completed for various customers through our partner conversion centers, the forthcoming conversion of the enhanced ATR 72-600 glass cockpit platform, including the glass cockpit integrations required for the freighter platform, is a natural next step for our group,” commented Sebastien Cournet, IPRC’s Technical & Conversions Specialist.
As part of the conversion program, Empire Aerospace, a long-standing and trusted partner of the ACIA Aero Capital group (“ACIA group”), has been selected to perform the first 72-600 LCD conversion at its facility located in the Coeur d'Alene Airport in northern Idaho.
“Empire Aerospace has converted multiple ATR passenger aircraft into BCF and LCD freighters. With the wider ACIA group offering an all-round solution, from leasing to supplying LCD and BFC kits, we are extremely supportive to continue growing their fleet of ATR freighter aircraft by adding our conversion expertise,” said Tim Komberec, President and Chief Executive Officer of Empire Aerospace. “We are still seeing a lot of conversion demand for regional aircraft freighters and the ACIA group is at the forefront of this demand.”