Conversions Commencing in January 2023 Will Encompass Mix of Large Cargo Door and Standard Door Bulk Freighters

DUBLIN – September 28, 2022 – 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.”

About IPR Conversions

IPR Conversions (Switzerland) Ltd (“IPRC”), a 100% subsidiary of ACIA Aero Capital group (“ACIA group”), is the sole STC holder of the Large Cargo Door for the ATR regional aircraft family and best on market Bulk Freighter tube with group offices in Switzerland, Mauritius and its sister company pax-to-freight specialist ACIA Aero Technics & Conversions in Toulouse, France.

About Empire Aerospace

Empire Aerospace, a division of Empire Airlines (“Empire”), has a modern maintenance facility with specialized departments, which provides state-of-the-art maintenance and cargo conversions for ATRs and other regional aircraft. Empire Airlines (“Empire”) is an international cargo air carrier that operates more than 120 scheduled cargo flights daily for FedEx in 18 U.S. states. Empire’s fleet comprises ATR 42s, ATR 72s, Cessna 408 SkyCourier, and Cessna 208 Caravans. Empire also owns California-based West Air, which operates a fleet of Cessna Caravans for FedEx, in addition to Empire Unmanned that operates unmanned aircraft, helping organizations manage their projects more safely, cost effectively, and efficiently using aerial imaging, data capture, and data analysis solutions. /

About ACIA Aero Leasing

ACIA Aero Leasing (“ACIA”), a 100% subsidiary of the ACIA Aero Capital group (“ACIA group”), is a leading regional aircraft lessor with offices in Ireland, Mauritius, France, Canada, and South Africa.  ACIA manages a current aircraft portfolio of over 50 regional passenger and freighter aircraft on lease to operators in more than 15 countries globally.  Through our strategic partnerships, ACIA provides airlines with turn-key leasing solutions from dry leasing through to charter operations.

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