GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), the aviation leasing and financing arm of GE [NYSE:GE], has 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. 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.
“GECAS is pleased to launch its first 737-800 passenger-to-freighter conversion program,” said Christopher Damianos, Executive Vice President Specialty Markets at GECAS. “We believe the 737-800NG freighter will be the best-in-class aircraft for both replacement and growth in the narrow body freighter sector.”
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.
“As the pre-eminent commercial airline leasing company in the world, we are elated to announce that GECAS is the launch customer for the AEI B737-800SF conversion program,” said Roy Sandri, AEI president. “This award is testament to the extraordinary quality, durability and value offered by the AEI conversion products.”
Bob Convey, AEI Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing said, “We expect that the B737-800SF will be a mainstay in cargo operators’ fleets for the next 20 plus years and we look forward to working with GECAS to provide them with a high residual value solution for their existing B737-800 fleet.”
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, 737-200 and MD-80 aircraft. Additionally, AEI will offer the market its new CRJ 200 freighter conversion in late 2015, 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 narrowbodies, widebodies, regional jets/props, 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 2,200 aircraft (1,900 fixed wing/300 rotary wing) in operation or on order, plus provides loans collateralized on an additional 400 aircraft. GECAS serves over 270 customers in over 75 countries from a network of 24 offices. www.gecas.com
GE (NYSE: GE) imagines things others don’t, builds things others can’t and delivers outcomes that make the world work better. GE brings together the physical and digital worlds in ways no other company can. In its labs and factories and on the ground with customers, GE is inventing the next industrial era to move, power, build and cure the world. (www.ge.com)
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