LONDON – China Aircraft Leasing Group (CALC) has purchased the first Boeing 737-800SF freighter conversion from Aeronautical Engineers Incorporated (AEI).
The aircraft in question that will be converted is B-2672, which currently belongs to Air China, and has been with the carrier since 2002.
B-2672 has been parked since January this year. With this contract signed, the modification to the aircraft will begin at the end of this month, with a delivery timeline of October.
Mr. Mike Poon, CEO of CALC, said:
“We are pleased to have AEI as the partner for our first passenger-to-freighter conversion project while we are enriching our environmentally sustainable aftermarket and end-of-life solution offerings as part of our ESG initiatives.”
“We shall develop this freighter business further as it enables us to exploit in full the utility of our aircraft assets to serve the escalating demand for cargo capacities globally and meet operators’ needs via a prevalent freighter aircraft model while contributing to a greener and sustainable aviation industry.”
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 Split Scimitar winglets.
The AEI converted B737-800SF freighter offers a main deck payload of up to 52,700 lbs. (23,904 kg) and incorporates eleven full-height 88” x 125” container positions, plus an additional position for an AEP/AEH.
The conversion also incorporates new floor beams aft of the wing box, a large 86” x 137” Main Cargo Door with a single vent door system.
AEI’s forward-thinking design allows for containers to be loaded into the aircraft a full 16.5” aft of the forward door jamb, ensuring ground operators have sufficient maneuvering room, which minimizes potential door and aircraft strikes.
Additionally, the AEI B737-800SF includes a flexible Ancra Cargo Loading System, a rigid 9g barrier, five supernumerary seats as standard, a galley, and a full lavatory.
The Topic of Conversion Continues…
It remains clear that in the perspective of CALC, the need to convert aircraft into freighters is the right move to make, given the fact that the cargo market is booming at the moment.
This comes off the back of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen cargo revenues skyrocket and continues to do so, with e-commerce growing at a very fast rate.
Looking ahead, it is going to be interesting to see how much more this area of the market will develop.
With the Farnborough Air Show around the corner, it gives Boeing the opportunity to make some more deals on its Boeing Converted Freighters program.
We will also see cargo conversion firms potentially at the airshow as well, who will want to secure as many orders for conversion as possible to take away from the mainstream manufacturers.