The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued, on April 28, 2021, a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) to 321 Precision Conversions, a joint venture of Air Transport Services Group and Precision Aircraft Solutions, for its A321-200(P2F) variant paving the way for delivery to launch operator SmartLynx Airlines Malta (LYX, Malta Int'l) and the ramp-up of conversions.

"Our goal was to rejuvenate the world’s cargo aircraft fleet with next-generation efficient and economical fly-by-wire aircraft; to produce an A321 freighter designed to be the best choice for the mission. We have done that. With huge backlogs of newly manufactured neo aircraft poised to enter Global passenger service and a thousand MAX jets entering service, the feedstock to support modern and efficient freighter conversions is now available to meet the needs of a burgeoning air freight market," ATSG President and CEO Rich Corrado said.

STC #ST02716SE exclusively covers aircraft powered by CFM International CFM56 engines.

The first A321-200 converted by 321 Precision Conversions, N322WS (msn 891), is owned by Vallair and has been under conversion and certification at Orlando Sanford since 2017. The aircraft operated its last proving flight on February 26, 2021, and has since been parked at the Floridan airport, Flightradar24 ADS-B data shows. It is set for delivery to SmartLynx Airlines Malta as its first dedicated freighter, operating under a long-term contract with DHL Express.

321 Precision Conversions is the second entity to receive the STC for its A321-200(PCF). Elbe Flugzeugwerke, a joint venture of Airbus and ST Engineering, certified its variant in September 2020 and has already delivered three aircraft, including two to Titan Airways and one to Express Freighters Australia (operating as Qantas Freight).