GECAS is forecasting that the Boeing 777-300ER freighter conversion programme launched with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) could secure more than 150 orders up to 2030.
The IAI conversion programme was unveiled today by leasing giant GECAS, which has placed a launch order for 15 firm conversions with 15 options and is co-investor in the programme. The conversion is designated 777-300ER Special Freighter (SF) and is the first after-market cargo modification launched for the 777 family.
Boeing produces the new-build all-cargo 777F, which is based on the shorter-fuselage -200LR platform and has a list price of $352m. Total orders stand at 230 aircraft.
“We’re dubbing the -300ERSF the ‘Big Twin’ as it’s larger than the factory freighter,” said Richard Greener, senior vice-president and manager of GECAS’s cargo aircraft group.
“It’s a case of ‘build it and they will come’,” he said, forecasting an overall market for 350 new and used widebody freighters in the period to 2030. Of these, 200 will be for replacement and 150 for growth, he adds. GECAS believes the -300ERSF can capture 40-50% of the overall widebody market (ie up to 175 aircraft), with the remainder being taken by new-build freighters