Freighter Conversion Company AEI Announces 2022 Review

The AEI Boeing 737 freighter conversion with side fuselage loading door open.
Photo Credit: AEI

LONDON – Aeronautical Engineers, Inc. (AEI) have announced that the company delivered a total of 41 converted freighter aircraft in 2022 to leasing and airline customers around the world.

The B737-800SF accounted for the majority of deliveries, representing a total of 31. The remainder of the freighters delivered were a mix of B737-400SF, CRJ-200 SF and MD-80SF series aircraft.

Outlook for 2023

Based on current order backlogs, AEI estimates the company will deliver approximately 44 freighters in 2023, with the B737-800SF again accounting for most deliveries.

AEI’s other active freighter programs continue to produce steady numbers. The company estimates it will deliver four B737-400SFs, four CRJ-200 SFs and four MD-80SF series freighters in 2023.

“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.”

Recent freighter aircraft certifications

Adding to their tally of freighter aircraft delivered in 2022, AEI closed out the year with a raft of international Supplemental Type Certifications (STC’s) for their freighter conversions.

In November 2022 the company gained STC approval from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DgCA) for the Republic of Indonesia, and the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) for the 12-pallet position B737-800SF freighter conversion.

December 2022 saw the Egyptian Civil Aviation Authority for the Arab Republic of Egypt approve grant the similar STC approval for the freighter conversion.

To date, AEI has FAA, CAAC, EASA, TCCA, UK CAA, CAACI (Cayman Islands) DCA (Guernsey), ANAC, CAAM, DgCA, and Egyptian approvals in place for its B737-800SF.

AEI is currently the only conversion company to have ETOPS 180 approval on the 737-800 freighter conversion. Additionally, AEI can convert all 737-800 line number aircraft including those with Flat Aft Pressure Bulkheads, and Split Scimitar winglets.

Slowdown in global air cargo

in the lead up to the 2022 year close, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for November 2022 global air cargo markets showing that demand softened as economic headwinds persist.

Global demand, measured in cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs*), fell 13.7% compared to November 2021 (-14.2% for international operations).

The international body cited reasons for the softening in air cargo demand, including the appreciation of the US dollar which added cost pressure, as many costs are denominated in US dollars. This includes the cost of jet fuel, which is running at elevated levels.

About AEI

Aeronautical Engineers, Inc. (AEI) is the global leader in the aircraft passenger-to-freighter conversion business and is the oldest conversion company in existence today.

Since the company’s founding in 1958, AEI has developed over 130 Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs) and has modified over 550 aircraft with the STCs.

AEI helps its customers extend aircraft life and increase the overall value of aircraft assets by continuously focusing on dependable and flexible product offerings.

AEI currently offers passenger-to-freighter conversions for the Boeing 737-800, 737-400, 737-300, MD-80 series, and CRJ200 aircraft.

By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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