AT LARGE by Miles Beauchamp
Boeing wins more 737-800BCF orders and launches two new freighter conversion lines to meet strong demand in express traffic and e-commerce markets
Boeing recently announced “a firm order from an unidentified customer for two 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighters (BCF), as well as agreements to open additional conversion lines in Guangzhou, China, and Singapore to meet strong market demand.
Based on the popular Next-Generation 737, the 737-800BCF offers operators newer technology, lower fuel consumption and higher reliability than other standard-body freighters. Primarily used to carry express cargo on domestic or short-haul routes, the airplane is capable of carrying up to 23.9 tons (52,800 pounds) and flying up to 2,000 nautical miles (3,750 kilometers).
The 737-800BCF now has 134 orders and commitments
“The freighter conversion program is an excellent way to double the life of an airplane and provide operators with an economical way to replace less efficient freighters,” said Ihssane Mounir, senior vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing for Boeing. “By working with our partners to add freighter conversion capacity, we look forward to meeting the strong demand in this market segment and helping our customers scale their operations.”
The new 737-800BCF line at Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Company Limited (GAMECO) is scheduled to open in early 2021, marking the MRO’s second conversion line for the market-leading 737-800BCF. To date, Boeing has delivered 36 737-800BCF to more than 10 operators across four continents.
“The addition of the new production line demonstrates our ability to quickly respond to market trends and requirements and is a testament to the skill and professionalism of the entire GAMECO-Boeing team,” said GAMECO General Manager Norbert Marx.
Boeing will also add a second conversion line for its widebody converted freighter, the 767-300BCF, at ST Engineering’s facility in Singapore. The second line is scheduled to open later this year.“Our strong talent pool, operational flexibility and existing infrastructure allow us to adapt quickly to evolving market needs and render the necessary support to our partners and customers,” said Lim Serh Ghee, president (Aerospace) of ST Engineering. “We take pride in our partnership with Boeing and, with the opening of an additional line later this year, look forward to continuing to deliver timely and quality freighter conversions.”
The world’s most efficient freighter in its class, the Boeing 767 freighter family offers the lowest operating costs per trip and allows airlines to develop new opportunities in the long-haul, regional and feeder markets. The 767-300BCF has virtually the same cargo capability as the 767-300F production freighter with up to 56.5 tons (124,600 pounds) of payload and flying up to 3,350 nautical miles (6,190 kilometers).
The Boeing freighter family, which includes production and converted freighters, provides more than 90 percent of the world’s freighter capacity, offering an unmatched selection of capacity and capability with superior economics in every freighter size.
GAMECO, established in October 1989 at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, is a joint venture between China Southern Airlines Co. Ltd. and Hutchison Whampoa (China) Ltd. from Hong Kong that specializes in aircraft and airborne component maintenance, repair, and overhaul.
ST Engineering is a global technology, defense and engineering group specializing in the aerospace, electronics, land systems and marine sectors. Headquartered in Singapore, ST Engineering reported revenue of $7.9b in FY2019 and it ranks among the largest companies listed on the Singapore Exchange. It is a component stock of the FTSE Straits Times Index, MSCI Singapore, SGX ESG Transparency Index and SGX ESG Leaders Index.
Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company and leading provider of commercial airplanes, defense, space and security systems, and global services. As a top U.S. exporter, the company supports commercial and government customers in more than 150 countries. Boeing employs more than 160,000 people worldwide and leverages the talents of a global supplier base. Building on a legacy of aerospace leadership, Boeing continues to lead in technology and innovation, deliver for its customers and invest in its people and future growth.”