Boeing delivers the first 737-800 BCF freighter to its launch customer GECAS
April 20, 2018: Boeing has delivered its first 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) to its launch customer GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS). West Atlantic Group, based in Sweden, is the operator of this freighter.
The freighter is important to GECAS’ portfolio, as it can support its customers across expanding air cargo markets.
“With the 737-800 BCF, we expect to improve reliability, lower aircraft operating costs, and provide a better environmental footprint,” said West Atlantic’s chief executive, Fredrik Groth.
West Atlantic will receive four 737-800 aircraft within the next 11 months and, once delivered, the company will operate 23 Boeing 737 freighter aircraft.
The 737-800BCF carries more payload – up to 23.9 tonnes (52,800 lbs) – and has longer range – 2,000 nautical miles (3,750 km) than other standard-body freighters. It primarily will be used to carry express cargo on domestic / short haul routes.
“For the first time, operators get one-stop shop support throughout the lifecycle of a standard-body freighter – originally manufactured by Boeing, converted by Boeing, and supported by Boeing,” said Mike Fleming, vice president, Commercial Services, Boeing Global Services.
For the 737-800BCF, Boeing has received 45 orders and commitments, from seven customers including: YTO Airlines, based in Hangzhou, China; China Postal Airlines, based in Beijing, China; GECAS, based in Ireland; Air Algerie, based in Algiers, Algeria; LAS Cargo, based in Bogota, Colombia; Cargo Air, based in Sophia, Bulgaria ; and an unannounced customer.
Twelve pallet positions provide 4,993 cubic feet (141.4 cubic metres) of cargo space on the main deck of the 737-800BCF. This will be supplemented by two lower-lobe compartments, combined providing more than 1,540 cubic feet (43.7 cubic metres) of space for revenue-generating cargo.
Existing passenger airplanes will be modified at select facilities located near conversion demand, including Boeing Shanghai Aviation Services and Taikoo (Shandong) Aircraft Engineering, also known as STAECO, in China. Modifications include installing a large main-deck cargo door, a cargo-handling system and accommodations for up to four non-flying crew members or passengers.