737-800BCF certified by China’s Civil Aviation Authority

The first in-service 737-800BCF, for launch customer GECAS. Photo: Boeing

Earlier this week, Boeing confirmed that its 737-800 Boeing-converted freighter aircraft has been certified by the Civil Aviation Authority of China, which means that Chinese airlines may now operate the Next Generation 737 converted freighter.

In 2019, Boeing plans to deliver sixteen 737-800BCFs, seven of which will be delivered to Chinese airlines including, China Postal Airlines, SF Airlines and YTO Express, according to a local Chinese news site. According to that same source, in total, Boeing has received eighty-five 737-800BCF orders and commitment orders from seven customers.

Sources told Cargo Facts that China Postal Airlines will take delivery of the first -800BCF, to be leased from Spectre, although the Texas-based company was not originally named as a launch customer for the program in 2016. For China Postal Airlines, the leasing will reduce the capital outlay necessary to add an -800 BCF. YTO Cargo Airlines also has at least two 737-800BCF conversions on firm order with Boeing but has not yet secured feedstock for the conversions. YTO will likely own the aircraft.

Spectre was a launch operator for Bedek’s conversion program and redelivered a 737-800 BDSF to SpiceJet in September. Spectre is also believed to be working with the HNA Group to convert some 737-700s currently flying in passenger service for Hainan Airlines to freighter configuration.

In light of growing air freight demand, Boeing predicts that 2,650 freighters will be added to the global fleet over the next twenty years, with more than 60% of those freighters being converted from passenger aircraft.

Those interested in learning more about freighter aircraft conversions are invited to join us Cargo Facts EMEA, to be held 4-6 February at The Westin Grand Frankfurt.  To register or for more information, visit www.cargofactsemea.com.