Tianjin Air Cargo has added to its fleet its first 737-700BDSF (29086, ex-Xiamen Airlines) [FAT 005571-005572].
The aircraft is on a long-term operating lease from Spectre Cargo Solutions, through its Irish entity NGF Overseas Aircraft, and is the first 737-700 freighter on lease to a carrier based in mainland China.
Touch labor for the conversion was performed by Israel Aerospace Industries’ Aviation Group (IAI), at the Tianjin Haite Aircraft Engineering facility. China’s Civil Aviation Administration (CAAC) issued an STC for IAI’s 737-700BDSF conversion in January.
Tianjin Air Cargo began NG freighter operations last year with a 737-800BCF, also leased from Spectre. The -700 variant is being added for its ability to “execute high-altitude airports,” according to a post on the carrier’s Weibo feed. The carrier also operates two 737 Classic freighters — one each of the -300 and -400 variants.
Over the next “several months,” Spectre expects to take redelivery of six 737NG freighters, the company said in release, at which point the lessor will have converted a total of sixteen 737NGs. Spectre’s plans call for the conversion of five 737-800s and one 737-700, but the company did not identify the STC holder for each of the aircraft.
Although the majority of Spectre’s NG conversions have been carried out under IAI supplemental type certificates (STCs), it has also taken redelivery of three Boeing-converted 737-800BCFs. IAI has not yet received an STC from the CAAC for its 737-800BDSF. FAA approval for the -800BDSF was issued in April.
Spectre launched IAI’s 737NG conversion program in 2016 with orders and options for up to thirty conversions.