Boeing has delivered the first 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) to its first customer GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) which will be operated by West Atlantic Group – based in Sweden.
West Atlantic will receive four 737-800 aircraft within the next 11 months and, once delivered, the company will operate 23 Boeing 737 freighter aircraft.
West Atlantic’s chief executive, Fredrik Groth said: “The additional capacity and Next-Generation efficiency offered by this new aircraft will deliver real benefit to our customers and we’re delighted to be at the forefront of deliveries of this new technology.
“With the 737-800BCF, we expect to improve reliability, lower aircraft operating costs, and provide a better environmental footprint.”
GECAS’ senior vice president & manager for cargo aircraft group, Richard Greener said: “We are very proud to be the launch customer for the 737-800 BCF, and pleased to supply this inaugural aircraft to West Atlantic.
“This freighter type is an important complement to our portfolio as we support our customers across expanding air cargo markets.”
Boeing’s Current Market Outlook forecasts that over the next 20 years, customers will need more than 1,100 standard-body converted freighters.
Boeing Global Services vice president, Mike Fleming added: “The 737-800BCF brings customers the next generation of freighters. For the first time, operators get one-stop shop support throughout the lifecycle of a standard-body freighter – originally manufactured by Boeing, converted by Boeing, and supported by Boeing.”
The 737-800BCF carries more payload – up to 23.9 tonnes – and has longer range – 2,000 nautical miles (3,750 km) than other standard-body freighters – providing capability to open new markets.
For the 737-800BCF, Boeing has received 45 orders and commitments, from seven customers including: YTO Airlines, based in Hangzhou, China; China Postal Airlines, based in Beijing, China; GECAS, based in Ireland; Air Algerie, based in Algiers, Algeria; LAS Cargo, based in Bogota, Colombia; Cargo Air, based in Sophia, Bulgaria ; and an unannounced customer.
Twelve pallet positions provide 4,993 cubic feet (141.4 cubic meters) of cargo space on the main deck of the 737-800BCF. This will be supplemented by two lower-lobe compartments, combined providing more than 1,540 cubic feet (43.7 cubic meters) of space for revenue-generating cargo.