GECAS joined Boeing and West Atlantic at a ceremony at East Midlands Airport in the UK to commemorate the delivery of the first Boeing 737-800 to be converted to a cargo freighter by the OEM. GECAS, the first owner of this type, has leased the aircraft to West Atlantic Group, a cargo operator based in Sweden. This 737-800BCF is the first of four to be delivered to West Atlantic in the coming months.
“We are very proud to be the launch customer for the 737-800BCF and pleased to supply this inaugural aircraft to West Atlantic,” said Richard Greener, GECAS’ SVP & Manager, Cargo Aircraft Group. “This freighter type is an important complement to our portfolio as we support our customers across expanding air cargo markets.”
“We’re excited to be the first operator of the 737-800BCF,” stated West Atlantic’s chief executive, Fredrik Groth, adding: “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 800BCF, we expect to improve reliability, lower aircraft operating costs, and provide a better environmental footprint.”
Once all four -800 aircraft are delivered, West Atlantic will be operating 23 Boeing 737 freighter aircraft.
“The 737-800BCF brings customers the next generation of freighters,” said Mike Fleming, vice president, Commercial Services. “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.”
Through its freighter conversion program, Boeing transitions passenger airplanes into freighters, extending the service life of the airplane. The 737-800BCF carries more payload – up to 23.9 tonnes (52,800 lbs) – and has longer range – 2,000 nmi (3,750 km) than other standard-body freighters – providing capability to open new markets. The 737-800BCF freighter also offers operators newer technology, lower fuel consumption and better reliability than standard-body freighters. It primarily will be used to carry express cargo on domestic / short haul routes.