PEMCO’s expansion into Central America with COOPESA, an MRO company, provides additional freighter conversion capacity to meet high demand for PEMCO’s B737-300 and -400 freighters.
The first passenger-to-freighter project in PEMCO’s Costa Rica operation was a 737-400 11-position high-yield freighter. The project included a heavy C-check, extensive structures and avionics upgrades, and full paint. Redelivery is scheduled later in January.
“There has been conjecture regarding a PEMCO expansion into a new facility for the past few months,” PEMCO CEO Bill Meehan said. “The opportunity to expand into Central and South America was at the top of our priorities, and the partnership with COOPESA is one that makes sense from a financial, technical and geographic perspective.”
In addition to PEMCO’s established conversion sites in the U.S. and Asia, COOPESA’s Central America location provides easy access for North- and South America-based customers, as well as an option for European customers.
“PEMCO’s strong order backlog and COOPESA’s attractive combination of structures capability, economics, location and culture make for a promising 2014 and beyond. The new alliance will provide much-needed slot availability in order to keep up with pending orders, bringing the number of active PEMCO conversion lines to eight at the moment, ramping to at least nine by mid-2014,” Kevin Casey, president of PEMCO, said. “A substantial portion of our 100-plus Boeing 737-400/300 conversions have been accomplished in partner operations, all delivered with excellent quality, turn time and financials. There is every reason to believe we will achieve exemplary results with COOPESA as well.”