Boeing has now delivered 100 converted 737-800 aircraft

Boeing announced this week the delivery of its 100th Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) 737-800 under contract. In this milestone, the aircraft was delivered to the world’s largest lessor, AerCap, which was also the launch customer for the 737 BCF program in 2016.

Cargo and e-commerce in tandem

Since its introduction, the demand for BCF has grown steadily. To date, Boeing has more than 250 orders and commitments from more than 20 customers for cargo. Among its list of high-profile customers is AerCap Cargo, which currently operates the largest fleet of 737 BCFs in the world, with 65 firm orders.


The demand for air freight continues to increase to meet the needs of e-commerce. Photo: Boeing

Riding this wave is the popularity of e-commerce platforms. Thanks to lockdown-induced binge-shopping, e-commerce has boomed, as evidenced by the success of retail giants like Amazon (which is one of AerCap Cargo’s BCF customers and one of the largest of this type of aircraft).

It is therefore not surprising that this newly delivered BCF is put into service for another e-commerce company, operated by GOL Linhas Aéras, a Brazilian low-cost airline.

Rich Greener, Head of AerCap Cargo, said:

“We are delighted to be part of this important milestone with our partners at Boeing. Since the launch of the 737-800BCF program with Boeing in 2016, the e-commerce market has seen phenomenal growth with increased demand from retail companies. on line. .”

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Apart from the community

Greener attributes the success of the 737 BCF to its versatility and reliability, which are ideal for express air cargo and e-commerce networks. Additionally, the converted aircraft shares many components and systems with the Boeing 737 passenger aircraft, helping to reduce logistics and maintenance costs. The high level of commonality also means easy pilot transition.

The BCF offers maximum payload and range. Photo: Boeing

In addition to practicality, the 737 BCF offers more payload for less fuel compared to other standard-body freighters, thanks to next-generation superior fuel efficiency – 20% lower fuel burn and carbon emissions per tonne less, to be exact. As Boeing puts it, “the world’s most capable and fuel-efficient freighter for a sustainable future.”

Increase to meet demand

The 100th 737 BCF was converted at Boeing Shanghai Aviation Services (BSAS), where the first-ever 737 BCF conversion line was established. Since the program’s inception, a second conversion line has been added to BSAS, which is now one of five global facilities with 737 BCF conversion capabilities in North America, Asia and Europe.

The first 737 BCF was converted at Boeing Shanghai Aviation Services. Photo: Boeing Shanghai Aviation Services

The manufacturer predicts that 1,720 freighter conversions will be needed over the next 20 years. To meet this demand, new conversion installations at Boeing’s Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facilities in London Gatwick and KF Aerospace MRO in British Columbia, Canada are underway.

Boeing is also setting up additional conversion lines at its current conversion facilities, including a second line at Cooperativa Autogestionaria de Servicios Aeroindustriales (COOPESA) in Costa Rica and a third line at Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Company Limited (GAMECO).

here to stay

The 737-800BCF fleet logged more than 70,000 flights with an average utilization of seven hours per day, more than double the utilization rate of older generation freighters in the same size class.

With over 40 years of experience in passenger-to-cargo conversions, Boeing continues to be a market leader in air cargo, proving yet another type of successful freighter. Now with its 100th order delivered, the 737 BCF joins five other Boeing freighter types in becoming a mainstay in the cargo landscape.

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