Boeing has delivered the first 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) to GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), to be operated by West Atlantic.
The aircraft was handed over to the customer at a ceremony at East Midlands Airport on 19 April, and West Atlantic will receive four 737-800s within the next 11 months.
The 737-800BCF can carry a payload of up to 23.9 tonnes and has a range of 2,000 nautical miles, and will primarily be used to carry express cargo on domestic and short haul routes.
Its 12 pallet positions provide 141.4 cubic metres of cargo space on the main deck, complemented by two lower lobe compartments, providing an additional 43.7 cubic metres of space.
West Atlantic chief executive, Fredrik Groth says: “We’re excited to be the first operator of the 737-800BCF. The additional capacity and Next-Generation efficiency offered by this new aircraft will deliver real benefit to our customers and we’re delighted to be at the forefront of deliveries of this new technology.
“With the 737-800 BCF, we expect to improve reliability, lower aircraft operating costs, and provide a better environmental footprint.”
GECAS senior vice president & manager of the cargo aircraft group, Richard Greener says: “We are very proud to be the launch customer for the 737-800 BCF, and pleased to supply this inaugural aircraft to West Atlantic. This freighter type is an important complement to our portfolio as we support our customers across expanding air cargo markets.”
Boeing Global Services vice president for commercial services, Mike Fleming adds: “The 737-800BCF brings customers the next generation of freighters. 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.”
Boeing has received 45 orders and commitments from seven customers for 737-800BCFs including YTO Airlines based in Hangzhou, China; Beijing-based China Postal Airlines; GECAS based in Ireland; Algiers, Algeria-based Air Algerie; LAS Cargo based in Bogota, Colombia; Cargo Air based in Sofia, Bulgaria; and an unannounced customer.