GECAS took redelivery of a Boeing-converted 737-800BCF (32610, ex-China Southern Airlines) earlier this week, and will ferry the aircraft to Liege next week, where it will be handed over on lease to ASL Airlines Belgium.
ASL expects to put the incoming 737-800BCF into service on behalf of express customer FedEx later next month. This is the second and final 737-800F due from GECAS, ASL confirmed to Cargo Facts. ASL’s arrangement to lease two Boeing-converted freighters from GECAS appears to supersede a 2016 agreement for two AEI-converted 737-800 SFs – a switch that likely resulted from delays with AEI’s 737-800 conversion. Redelivery of AEI’s first 737-800 SF to GECAS (29121, ex-Correndon Airlines) was originally expected in mid-2017 but is now expected in early 2019 following STC certification. GECAS declined to elaborate.
Regarding future NG narrowbody freighter redeliveries, GECAS maintains a healthy backlog of conversion orders and options with both Boeing and AEI. ASL, for its part, will inevitably augment its fleet of 737-800Fs but would only acknowledge, “ASL will continue to develop its fleet in 2019 and 2020 to meet customer requirements.”
As was the case with ASL’s first 737-800BCF, touch labor for the latest conversion was completed at the STAECO facility in Jinan. This is STAECO’s third -800BCF conversion for Boeing.