Aircraft lessor GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) has today reached an agreement with Boeing for 35 additional 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighters at the 2018 Farnborough International Airshow.
The deal, which includes 20 firm orders and an option for 15 more, would take GECAS’ 737-800BCF order book from 15 to 50 and enable GECAS to serve the growing express air cargo market.
GECAS Cargo Aircraft Group, senior vice president and manager, Richard Greener said: “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.
“With total firm and option aircraft commitments now at fifty 737-800BCFs, GECAS will commit nearly $1.5 billion 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 a Swedish cargo carrier.
“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 Boeing’s senior vice president of commercial sales and marketing, Ihssane Mounir. “We are delighted that GECAS intends to commit to a big repeat order for the airplane. We look forward to finalizing 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 737-800BCF program to 80 from more than half a dozen customers.
The 737-800BCF carries more payload – up to 23.9 tonnes and flies farther – 2,000 nautical miles (3,750 km) than 737 c freighters. The converted jet also offers operators newer technology, better fuel efficiency and reliability than previous standard-body freighters.
Existing 737-800 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.