Norwalk - GECAS (GE Capital Aviation Services) has delivered to Ethiopian Airlines AEI’s first ever Boeing 737-800 converted from passenger to freighter. Aeronautical Engineers Inc (AEI) received its supplemental type certification (STC) last year in December from the FAA (US Federal Aviation Administration) for the 737-800SF after completing the conversion of a prototype.
We congratulate the AEI team in obtaining the FAA STC approval for the converted 737-800SF and honored to supply this inaugural aircraft to Ethiopian Airlines, said Richard Greener, Senior Vice President and Manager at GECAS Cargo.
This conversion program is a key component to our ability to give customers’ choice and meet the growing needs in the expanding air cargo markets. The collaboration between GECAS and AEI has yielded additional capacity and efficiencies afforded by the Next Generation aircraft and will deliver a significant benefit to freighter operators, Greener added.
In 2015, GECAS became the launch customer of both AEI and Boeing in the conversion program and provided the prototype aircraft to the AEI in the certification process. GECAS delivered the first converted 737-800 to West Atlantic last year in April. The American leasing company plans to convert at least 50 Boeing 737-800 to the freighter.
The 737-800SF has more payload capacity (23.9 tonnes or 52,800 lbs) and longer range (2,000 nmi or 3,750 km) than other narrow-body freighters. The 737-800SF also offers freighter operators lower fuel consumption and better reliability. The aircraft is primarily designed to carry express cargo on short-haul routes.