HAECO To Open A321 Freighter Conversion Line In Mainland China

Credit: 321 Precision Conversions

SINGAPORE—Hong Kong-headquartered HAECO is joining the Airbus A321 passenger-to-freighter conversion bandwagon, opening an A321 conversion line in mainland China in partnership with 321 Precision Conversions. 

Conversions of the narrowbody at HAECO’s facility at Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport are expected to commence in February.

The MRO will become the second company in the Asia-Pacific region to offer cargo conversions of A320 family aircraft, joining Singapore-based ST Engineering.

HAECO added that its U.S. facility in Lake City, Florida, commenced the provision of A321 conversion services this January. That line is also in partnership with 321 Precision Conversions, which is a joint venture between Precision Aircraft Solutions and Air Transport Services Group (ATSG).

HAECO did not respond to questions regarding the Xiamen facility’s annual capacity but Precision Conversions said in September 2021 that a typical A321 line would yield about four freighters per year.

321 Precision Conversions’ A321PCF retains the L1 door while the main deck is 33 in. farther aft than the A321P2F product offered by ST Engineering under the EFW brand. Both conversions create 14 main deck positions for pallets, although the final position at the rear of the aircraft must be turned longitudinally, restricting it to a PAG pallet or LD9 container rather than the typical AAA pallet.

It is not the first time HAECO and Precision Conversions have worked together. Since 2009, the two have partnered on a Boeing 757-200 passenger-to-freighter program, completing 26 757 conversions to date.

Chen Chuanren

Chen Chuanren is the Southeast Asia and China Editor for the Aviation Week Network’s (AWN) Air Transport World (ATW) and the Asia-Pacific Defense Correspondent for AWN, joining the team in 2017.