Boeing boosts freighter conversion capacity

by Inside Logistics Online Staff

Boeing will add two 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) conversion lines at Taikoo (Shandong) Aircraft Engineering Co. Ltd.’s (STAECO) facility in Jinan, China, in 2022.

The first new line will open in the first quarter of the year, with the second line expected to begin conversions by midyear. Once the two new lines are operational, STAECO will have seven conversion lines dedicated to the 737-800BCF.

Boeing forecasts 1,720 freighter conversions will be needed over the next 20 years. Of those, 1,200 will be standard body conversions, with Asia carriers accounting for 40 percent of that demand.

“Boeing is pleased to continue growing our strong and mutually beneficial relationship with STAECO by creating additional conversion capacity to meet growing global demand,” said Peter Gao, vice-president, Boeing Commercial Sales and Marketing for China.

“STAECO has exhibited the expertise and track record of delivering quality freighter conversions and will play a critical role in helping Boeing meet our customer commitments today and in the future.”

This year, Boeing announced it would create additional 737-800BCF conversion capacity at several sites, including with existing supplier Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Company Limited (GAMECO), and with new suppliers Cooperativa Autogestionaria de Servicios Aeroindustriales (COOPESA) in Costa Rica, KF Aerospace in Canada, and Boeing’s London Gatwick MRO facility in the United Kingdom.

The 737-800BCF is the standard body freighter market leader with more than 200 orders and commitments from 19 customers. The 737-800BCF offers higher reliability, lower fuel consumption, and lower operating costs per trip compared to other standard-body freighters.

Boeing has more than 40 years of successful experience in passenger-to-freighter conversions, relying on original design data.

STAECO offers airframe maintenance, parts manufacturing and other engineering services from its hangars at the Jinan Yaoqiang International Airport, which can simultaneously accommodate 12 narrowbody aircraft. It also offers line maintenance services in Jinan, as well as business jet services in Beijing.