BBAM expands fleet of 737-800BCFs

The 737-800BCF program has received 130 orders and commitments since the aircraft entered service in 2018. (Photo: Boeing)

BBAM has placed an order for three more 737-800BCFs from Boeing [FATs 005323-005325]. The lessor, which has already taken redelivery of two 737-800BCFs, will take three 737-800s from its existing portfolio of 134 and convert them into freighter configuration.

The first aircraft will be converted by Boeing at the Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Company Ltd. (GAMECO) facility in Guangzhou (CAN). GAMECO confirmed to Cargo Facts that the aircraft would be inducted for conversion in June and is expected to be redelivered in the fourth quarter of 2020.

This will be the first 737NG conversion undertaken by GAMECO, which Boeing announced as its third conversion site for 737-800BCFs in October 2019, after suggesting at the Paris Air Show that additional capacity might be needed.

Both of the 737-800BCFs redelivered to BBAM were leased to China Postal Airlines. They were converted by Boeing at the Taikoo (Shandong) Aircraft Engineering Company Ltd. (STAECO) facility in Jinan (TNA). China Postal is committed to at least eight more 737-800BCFs under an agreement it signed with Boeing in 2015, but it is unclear whether the three new conversions are also destined for the airline.

Since first entering service with West Atlantic in 2018, the 737-800BCF has received 130 orders and commitments. Boeing Shanghai Aviation Services (BSAS) and STAECO currently have a total of five conversion lines dedicated to the program.

Apart from the 737-800BCF, BBAM has also invested in the A321P2F platform and currently has orders for “several” freighter-converted A321s, according to ST Aerospace, which is carrying out touch labor for the program.

The lessor signed a letter of intent with Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW) for one A321 passenger-to-freighter conversion at the Paris Air Show in June 2019. This aircraft (1238, ex-Thomas Cook Airlines) was ferried to Singapore (XSP) on Christmas Day 2019, and inducted for conversion in January, becoming EFW’s second A321P2F. U.K.-based Titan Airways, which is expecting to receive its first A321P2F on lease from BBAM by the end of 2020, recently confirmed at Cargo Facts EMEA that unit 1238 is indeed that frame.

BBAM’s second A321P2F is slated to be inducted for conversion in March.

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