Thursday, October 1, 2015

Boeing to launch 737 freighter conversion program

Boeing is studying plans to offer freighter conversion for its most popular aircraft, the narrow body Boeing 737.

Boeing on Sept 30, announced that it has entered into an agreement with Chinese YTO Airlines to provide the airline with 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighters (BCFs) pending a planned program launch.

The 737-800 will be the first Next-Generation 737 that Boeing offers for conversion. Through its 737 freighter conversion program, Boeing will support customers in the narrow-body freighter market, a segment of the freighter market growing quickly around the world.

The 737 will be the fourth freighter in Boeing's cargo portfolio which now include the mid size narrow body 757 and 777, 747-8 wide bodies.

YTO Airlines is a Hangzhou-based express cargo carrier backed by Shanghai YTO Express Investment (Group) Co., Ltd. The carrier currently operates a fleet of Boeing 737-300F airplanes, providing domestic and international air cargo services.

The move comes after Airbus launched freighter conversion for its 737 analogue, the A320 in collaboration with Singapore based ST Aerospace, during the 2015 Paris Air Show.

Boeing has projected a demand for 1420 converted freighters. Currently Israeli Aerospace Industries and Florida based AEI provides passenger to freighter conversion for Boeing 737s.