Shannon, Ireland – 28 June 2021: GECAS announces the exercise of three options to firm order with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to convert an additional three of the lessor’s 777-300ER passenger planes to freighters. This brings GECAS total commitment since the launch of the “Big Twin Program” in July 2019 to 18 firm (including the prototype aircraft from GECAS’ owned portfolio) with IAI and a remaining 12 options.
Additionally, while Kalitta Air is the launch airline and already leasing three of the first Big Twin freighters to be converted, the scheduled and on-demand charter operator has contracted to lease two additional 777-300ERSF from GECAS.
These commitments illustrate the growing industry demand for dedicated cargo planes. “We view the 777-300ERSF as the next generation of long-haul, large-capacity widebody freighters. We’re seeing immense interest in this new product from seasoned operators like Kalitta to new start-ups who are seeing clear advantages with the affordability of the aircraft, best in class economics and the expanded capacity of the 777-300ERSF,” shared Rich Greener, SVP & Manager of GECAS Cargo.
“We are pleased with GECAS' confidence exemplified by this additional firm order as we prepare to induct the prototype aircraft into the hangar,” says Yosef Melamed, IAI EVP and General Manager of Aviation Group. “This is another exciting milestone for the Big Twin freighter program.”