New Pilots

Older Boeing B737-800NG's being converted to Freighters.

2016 05 23

Freighter conversion bonanza continues as mystery customer signs up for 30 B737s

Aeronautical Engineers, Inc has signed an agreement to provide up to 30 twelve pallet position Boeing 737-800SF conversions with an undisclosed customer.

The agreement includes 15 firm orders with an additional 15 options. The modifications for the customer will begin in late 2018 with deliveries beginning in 2019.

To date, and including this recent announcement, AEI has received a total of 80 firm orders and commitments for its twelve pallet position B737-800SF.

The AEI B737-800SF converted freighter is able to accommodate eleven full-height containers or pallets and one AEP/AEH container for a total of 12 positions. Depending upon the aircraft model and aircraft weight limits, the AEI B737-800SF will be able to carry a payload of up to 23,587kg.

Additionally the AEI B737-800SF freighter will incorporate an 86” x 140” main cargo door and will include up to 5 supernumerary seats. The narrowbody aircraft is popular for domestic express operations.

The deal follows a recent spate of orders for freighter conversions as companies look to capitalise on the growing express market.

Converted freighters are popular with express operators as their relatively low utilisation per day requires a low capital cost asset.

Speculation on who the mystery customer could be is likely to continue in earnest. Chinese airlines SF Express, YTO Express and China Postal have all been busy placing orders of late, although most of these deals have been made public.

Lessors have also been trying to gain additional assets as they look to cater for the growth.