GAMECO (Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Company Limited) celebrated the launch of its 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) program today at its Guangzhou base, holding a door-cutting ceremony of its first 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF), which commenced the production phase of the program.
GAMECO and Boeing launched work on the new production line of 737-800BCF last year in response to growing demand in the air cargo market. With sharp declines in passenger air travel, airlines have shifted some of their business toward air cargo, as freighter needs have increased in response to greater cargo demands throughout the COVID-19. Amidst these circumstances, the air cargo market embraces phenomenal challenges and opportunities and plays an important role in both anti-pandemic relief activities and the reconstruction of supply chains.
“We are thrilled to celebrate this important milestone with our team and excited to officially begin production of the 737-800BCF program at GAMECO,” said GAMECO General Manager Norbert Marx. “This program is not only a demonstration of the skill and expertise of GAMECO, but also a great opportunity for us to contribute to the development requirements of the air cargo market.”
“The celebration today is a demonstration of our partnership with GAMECO. It’s not only a milestone of the program, but also a new chapter of our cooperation,” said Sixiang Gao, vice president, Commercial Sales and Marketing for China, The Boeing Company. “GAMECO is a world-class MRO provider with the proven ability to complete complex modifications on schedule, and with the highest quality. This program has leveraged the skill and expertise from both GAMECO and Boeing, and responded to market trends and requirements. It’s a win-win relationship and will bring immense value to our customers.”
The 737-800BCF is built on the Next-Generation 737 platform, well known for its reliability, fuel efficiency, and lower operating cost. GAMECO’s freighter-conversion program transitions these passenger airplanes into freighters, extending their service life. A converted 737-800BCF airplane carries up to 52,800 pounds (23.9 metric tons) of payload with excellent operating economics to maximize operators’ profits. Since entering into service in 2018, the 737-800BCF has won more than 130 orders and commitments.
According to the most recent Boeing Commercial Market Outlook, 2,820 freighters will enter the global fleet over the next 20 years to meet market demand, including 1,220 narrow-body passenger-to-freighter conversions. China is expected is make up a large part of that demand with a forecasted need for 230 new freighters and 500 converted freighters.