Kalitta Air to be launch operator of “The Big Twin”


GECAS Cargo has inked an agreement with Kalitta Air for three 777-300ERSF aircraft. With this agreement, Kalitta will be the first operator of the new passenger-to-freighter type, adding to their already sizable all-cargo fleet when these aircraft deliver in 2023.

Dubbed “The Big Twin,” the 777-300ERSF will be the largest ever twin-engine freighter. As announced a year ago, the conversion program is jointly funded by GECAS and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), with GECAS delivering the prototype aircraft to undergo conversion in June of this year. Setting a new benchmark for cargo operators, The Big Twin will be powered by GE90 engines, the world’s most powerful in-service engine.

With twenty years of providing scheduled and on-demand charter service in the United States and around the world, Kalitta Air currently operates a fleet of more than three dozen cargo planes, including 747-400F, 767-300SF and 777F.

“Providing air express delivery all around the globe for virtually any type of freight, the addition of these three 777-300 freighters will help us meet the needs of customers,” said Conrad Kalitta, owner of Kalitta Air.

“We are delighted to continue our 15-year relationship with Kalitta Air and proud they’ve become the launch customer with the 777-300ERSF freighter for its future air cargo operations,” said Rich Greener, SVP and manager Cargo of GECAS, adding “The 777-300ERSF shares extensive commonality with the smaller production 777F. That’s a benefit to any operator looking to bring a new type into their fleet.”

The Big Twin will offer 25% more capacity than today’s twin-engine long-haul freighters and it is anticipated that the Big Twin will achieve up to 21% lower fuel-burn per tonne than the current 4-engine freighters. The GE90, designed specifically for the longer-range Boeing 777 aircraft, providing up to 115,000 lbs. of thrust. In addition to producing the sole-source engine for the 777 variants, GE Aviation is prepared to provide MRO engine services to ensure continued performance throughout the lifecycle to of the converted freighters.