Boeing’s run of freighter orders during the Farnborough Airshow continued this afternoon with lessor GECAS placing an order for 35 Boeing 737-800 converted freighters (BCF).
The deal, which includes 20 firm orders and an option for 15 more, would take GECAS’ B737-800BCF order book from 15 to 50 and enable GECAS to “serve the growing express air cargo market”.
“This order and future commitment with Boeing reflects the confidence GECAS has in the 737-800BCF to replace and grow the narrow body freighter market,” said Richard Greener senior vice president and manager GECAS Cargo Aircraft Group.
“With total firm and option aircraft commitments now at 50 737-800BCFs, GECAS will commit nearly $1.5bn worth of 737-800s with conversions to the narrow body freighter sector.”
The commercial aircraft leasing and financing arm of General Electric is the launch customer of the new 737-800BCF. It took delivery of the first converted jet in April and leased it to West Atlantic.
“The 737-800BCF is a great example of how Boeing’s Global Services business can extend the life of an airplane with new technology and help operators reduce their operating costs,” said Ihssane Mounir, senior vice president of commercial sales and marketing for The Boeing Company.
“We are delighted that GECAS intends to commit to a big repeat order for the airplane. We look forward to finalising this deal and adding to their world-class portfolio.”
This agreement, which is subject to GECAS board approval, would take the total commitments for the B737-800BCF programme to 80 from more than half a dozen customers.
The 737-800BCF carries more payload – up to 23.9 tonnes (52,800 lbs) – and flies farther – 2,000 nautical miles (3,750 km) than 737 Classic freighters. The converted jet also offers operators newer technology, better fuel efficiency and reliability than previous standard-body freighters.
Existing B737-800 passenger airplanes are modified at multiple facilities, including Boeing Shanghai Aviation Services Co. Ltd., and Taikoo (Shandong) Aircraft Engineering Co. Ltd., also known as STAECO, in China.
Modifications include installing a large main-deck cargo door, a cargo-handling system and accommodations for up to four non-flying crew members or passengers.
This is the third big cargo deal announced by Boeing at the Farnborough Airshow. DHL has placed an order for 14 B777Fs, while Volga-Dnepr and CargoLogicHoldings have ordered a combined five B747-8Fs and 29 B777Fs.
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