New and converted freighter orders to start the year

Turkish Airlines ordered three more 777Fs

With 2018 barely over one week old, we can already report freighter orders from two airlines.

First, Boeing has now confirmed that Turkish Airlines placed an order for three 777Fs.

2017 was the best year in a long time for the air freight industry, but despite the growth in 2017, and optimism about demand in 2018, orders for new-build freighters were scarce. However, as we reported last week, Turkish Airlines, in a filing on the Istanbul Stock Exchange on 29 December, said: “The Incorporation has decided to purchase 3 B777-200LRF cargo aircraft from Boeing, to be delivered in September, October and December of 2018.”

It was not clear from that filing whether a firm order had already been placed, or whether the order would come later, but today Boeing said the order was made “in December 2017.” It follows Turkish’s order for two of the type in 2017 (both of which have now been delivered).

Ethiopian will be the first airline to operate an AEI-converted 737-800SF.

Also today came an announcement from GECAS that it had signed an agreement with Ethiopian Airlines for the lease of two 737-800 freighters, following conversion by Aeronautical Engineers, Inc. This makes Ethiopian GECAS’ third lease customer for freighter-converted 737-800s, but it may well be the first carrier to operate a 737-800 freighter.

In October 2016, Ireland-based ASL Aviation Group signed up for two AEI-converted 737-800SFs, and in June 2017, Sweden-based West Atlantic agreed to lease four Boeing-converted 737-800BCFs. Although it placed its order some time ago, ASL will take its two after Ethiopian, so the first redelivery will be either an AEI-converted freighter to Ethiopian, or a Boeing-converted freighter to West Atlantic.

In addition, US-based lessor Spectre Air Capital has ordered fifteen 737-700/-800 passenger-to-freighter conversions from Bedek Aviation Group, with Korea-based Air Incheon signing up to lease three -800BDSFs.

Those interested in hearing the latest in order and delivery news from leading conversion houses, lessors, and OEM’s are invited to join us at Cargo Facts Asia 2018 (co-hosted by the Shanghai Airport Authority), 23-25 April at the Mandarin Oriental Pudong. To view this year’s exciting agenda, or to register, visit

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