In what is perhaps a preview of what’s to come later this week at the Paris Air Show, Boeing just redelivered a 737-800BCF (32663, ex-Jet Airways) to GECAS [FATs 004936-4937]. Images of the aircraft in Prime Air livery appeared earlier today on Boeing’s Twitter account. The aircraft will be on display at the show, which this year runs 17-19 June.
After completing a passenger-to-freighter conversion and receiving a fresh paint job, the 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter has arrived for its debut at the Paris Air Show. #PAS19 pic.twitter.com/boOBgqiaZI
— Boeing Airplanes (@BoeingAirplanes) June 16, 2019
Last month, Atlas Air Worldwide’s subsidiary carrier Southern Air put two 737-800BCFs into service on a CMI basis for Amazon Air. The two aircraft (32882 and 32611) are among at least five 737-800BCFs that Southern Air will begin flying for Amazon in 2019. As part of the agreement with AAWW, Amazon has options for the CMI lease of up to fifteen more 737-800BCFs by May 2021. Cargo Facts has always believed Amazon will likely elect to exercise options for all fifteen aircraft and that GECAS has already lined up conversion slots with Boeing to do so. This seems even more likely now that the fourth 737-800BCF bound for the Southern Air fleet has come out of conversion and been redelivered to GECAS.
Last year at the Farnborough Airshow, GECAS increased its 737-800BCF order backlog with Boeing to thirty-five firm orders with options for fifteen more. The lessor was also the launch customer for AEI’s 737-800 passenger-to-freighter conversion program and has outstanding orders and options for eighteen additional AEI-converted 737-800s.
Airlines and lessors typically have a proclivity to announce orders and announcements at major air shows. Stay tuned to Cargo Facts this week as we provide a comprehensive overview of orders and updates from the Paris Air Show.