GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), the aviation leasing and financing arm of GE, today (June 19) announced the launch of its 737-800NG passenger-to-freighter conversion program.
GECAS plans to convert up to 20 of its Boeing 737-800NG passenger aircraft to freighters (above).
AEI Aeronautical Engineers, Inc. will perform the conversions at its facilities in the U.S. and China. The first aircraft is scheduled for conversion starting in 2016 in order to earn FAA supplemental type certification (STC) in 2017 and subsequently enter service as a leased freighter.
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 2001, GECAS announced plans to convert Boeing 737-300 and -400 aircraft from its portfolio to freighter aircraft. In 2002, the passenger-to-freighter program expanded to include Boeing 767-200 models. In 2005, GECAS began converting Boeing 747-400s to freighters. In total, GECAS has leased over 60 converted freighters to air cargo carriers worldwide to help them expand or modernize their fleets.
All images by GECAS and AEI.
AEI already converts the Boeing 737-400 to freighters: