Aircastle Delivers First 737-800 Freighter

Matti Blume, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

LONDON – Aircraft lessor Aircastle has on February 10 announced the delivery of their first converted Boeing 737-800 freighter.

The aircraft has undergone a conversion from a passenger jet to a freighter at the Kelowna Flightcraft LTD facility in Canada and was delivered in Arizona.

Aircastle’s First 737-800SF…

Md Shaifuzzaman Ayon, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

As recently announced and mentioned, international aircraft lessor Aircastle Limited (“Aircastle”) has successfully delivered their first Boeing 737-800 freighter, which was earlier converted in Canada from a passenger jet, by Aeronautical Engineers Inc.

Compass Cargo Airlines is the recipient of the aircraft and took delivery of the airframe at the Phoenix Goodyear Airport in Arizona, USA.

The aircraft in question started its career with Jet Airways in 2006 and has since been with Spicejet since 2019 before getting picked up by Aircastle in 2021, where it was initially stored at Phoenix Goodyear for over six months.

On the delivery, Aircastle Chief Executive Officer Michael Inglese stated, “We’re pleased to celebrate this inaugural delivery and wish to thank AEI and KF Aerospace for their exceptional work on this deal.”

“We believe this passenger-to-freighter conversion of a B737-800 demonstrates our team’s ability to create solutions and maximize the value of the mid-life portion of our narrow-body aircraft fleet.”

Inglese adds, “We’re also excited to build a new relationship with Compass Cargo Airlines Limited and believe the versatility and reliability of the B737-800SF will help them meet the growing demand for express air cargo.”

About Aircastle…

Aircastle Limited acquires, leases, and sells commercial jet aircraft to airlines throughout the world. As of November 30, 2022, Aircastle owned and managed on behalf of its joint ventures 250 aircraft leased to 76 customers located in 46 countries.

Aircastle’s lessees consist of Air France, Thai Airways, TAP Air Portugal, TUI, Bangkok Airways, and over 70 other airlines.

The rise of 737 freighters…

Over the past few years, the aviation industry has seen a steady rise in popularity and demand for mid-range freighters, making the Boeing 737 an exemplary aircraft given its success in the passenger division of air transport.

Recently, aircraft lessor AerCap celebrated its 50th delivery of the Boeing 737-800 freighter. Their 50th aircraft was redelivered to GOL Linhas Aéreas, who will operate the aircraft on behalf of a Latin-American e-commerce company, as part of the growth strategy and logistics solution of GOLLOG, Gol’s logistics business unit.

In 2016, AerCap Cargo was the launch customer of the Boeing 737-800BCF and took delivery of its first aircraft in April 2018.

Besides lessors however, the freighter conversion company AEI, saw 41 deliveries across 2022, 31 of which were accounted for by the Boeing 737-800 freighters (B737-800SF).

Based on current order backlogs, AEI estimates the company will deliver approximately 44 freighters in 2023, with the Boeing 737-800SF again accounting for most deliveries.

“We are very pleased with the strong number of orders for our B737-800SF freighter conversion,” said Robert T. Convey, AEI senior vice president of sales and marketing.

“Given the current uncertainty in the economic environment, we do however expect the annual pace of freighter deliveries to settle a bit after 2023.”

By Adrian Olstad 4 Min Read
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