MIAMI – At the Cargo Facts Symposium in Miami, US-based Spectre Air Capital announced an order with Bedek Aviation Group for fifteen 737-800 and 737-700 passenger-to-freighter conversions, plus rolling options for fifteen more.
The first three conversions will be 737-800BDSFs for Korea-based Air Incheon, which will take the freighters from Spectre on long-term lease, with the first redelivery scheduled for the third quarter of 2017.
Bedek’s 737 NG conversion program got rolling some time ago with an order for three 737-700 conversions from US-based Alaska Airlines, and the Spectre order puts Bedek in the position of being the only company offering conversions of both 737-700s and 737-800s.
The other big news out of the Cargo Facts Symposium was today’s announcement by GECAS that it had signed an agreement to lease two 737-800Fs to Ireland-based ASL Aviation Group. The two aircraft, which are currently in service with China Southern Airlines, will be converted to freighter configuration by Aeronautical Engineers, Inc, with redelivery of both scheduled for 2018.
As shown in the chart at right, initial demand for 737 NG family conversions, particularly the -800 variant, has been strong. Even before the first flight of a 737NG freighter, eleven customers have placed firm orders for 104 conversions, with options for 69 more.
Regarding the breakdown of -700 vs -800 orders, we point out that while we show the Spectre order with Bedek as being for fifteen -800s, it is actually for a mix of both -700s and -800s, with the balance as yet undetermined.