May 16, 2016
NORWALK, CONN – May 16, 2016. GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), the aviation leasing and financing arm of GE [NYSE: GE], today announced that it is underway with its inaugural 737-800NG passenger-to-freighter conversion with Miami-based Aeronautical Engineers, Inc. (AEI). GECAS announced the launch of its AEI passenger-to-freighter conversion program at the Paris Air Show in June 2015.
A 1999 vintage 737-800 arrived in Miami on May 5. The aircraft had been operated by Corendon Airlines in Turkey. Conversion and the subsequent certification process are scheduled to take approximately a year. This will be AEI’s first 737-800NG freighter conversion.
The aircraft will be equipped with a rigid cargo barrier and have 12 main deck pallet positions … 11 full height containers, plus a one-half width container. The aircraft has a maximum structural payload of 23,500 kg (51,800lb) and a max range of over 2,100 nautical miles.
GECAS plans to convert up to 20 of its Boeing 737-800NG passenger aircraft to freighters with AEI. The conversions will be performed at authorized AEI Conversion Centers at facilities in the U.S. and Asia.
GECAS is also the launch customer for Boeing’s 738BCF program, and a similar aircraft will be inducted into their program later this year.
Formed in 2000, GECAS’ Cargo Aircraft Group currently leases nearly 100 freighters to airline customers worldwide. Its fleet includes the 737, 767, 747 and 777 freighter models. In July, GECAS announced plans to convert up to 20 737-800NG passenger aircraft to freighters beginning in 2016.
“The 737-800NG freighter will complement the GECAS cargo portfolio and clearly become an important narrow body freighter to support the future express air cargo markets,” said Rich Greener, SVP & Manager – Cargo for GECAS.
“As the pre-eminent commercial airline leasing company in the world, we are excited to begin the first B737-800SF conversion with GECAS,” said Roy Sandri, AEI president. “This is a terrific milestone for AEI, and we’re thrilled that the first B737-800SF modification is officially underway.”