MRO Magazine

GECAS’ Cargo Aircraft Group Underway With First 737-800NG Passenger-to-Freighter Conversion


May 16, 2016
By Business Wire News

NORWALK, Conn.

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.”

About Aeronautical Engineers, Inc. (AEI)

Aeronautical Engineers, Inc. (AEI) is a global leader in the aircraft passenger-to-freighter conversion business and is the oldest conversion company in existence today. Since the company’s founding in 1958, AEI has developed over 120 Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs) and has modified over 400 aircraft with the STCs. AEI helps its customers extend aircraft life and increase the overall value of aircraft assets by continuously focusing on dependable and flexible product offerings. AEI currently offers passenger-to-freighter conversions for the Boeing 737-400, 737-300, and MD-80 aircraft. Additionally, AEI will offer the market its new CRJ 200 freighter conversion in 2016, followed by the Boeing 737-800 full freighter and combi conversions in 2017. www.aeronautical-engineers.com

About GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS)

GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) is a world leader in aviation leasing and financing. With over 45 years of experience, GECAS offers a wide range of aircraft types including narrow-bodies, wide-bodies, regional jets, turboprops, freighters and helicopters, plus multiple financing products and services including operating leases, purchase/leasebacks, secured debt financing, capital markets, engine leasing, airframe parts management and airport/airline consulting. GECAS owns or services a fleet of over 2,000 aircraft (~1,784 fixed wing/ ~246 rotary wing) in operation or on order, plus provides loans collateralized on an additional ~380 aircraft. GECAS serves over 270 customers in 80 countries from a network of 26 offices. www.gecas.com

GE (NYSE: GE) is the world’s Digital Industrial Company, transforming industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive. GE is organized around a global exchange of knowledge, the “GE Store,” through which each business shares and accesses the same technology, markets, structure and intellect. Each invention further fuels innovation and application across our industrial sectors. With people, services, technology and scale, GE delivers better outcomes for customers by speaking the language of industry. www.ge.com

GE Capital
Aviation Services
Dan Whitney, +1-203-842-5229
Vice President, Global Communications
dan.whitney@ge.com