China-based Hongyuan Group has placed a conversion order with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) for eleven 777-300ERSF conversions along with options for nine more [FATs 008121-8140].
Hongyuan Group told Cargo Facts that redeliveries are expected to begin in the third quarter of 2024 and that it plans to place these freighters with Air Belgium and Jiangxi Cargo Airlines to operate.
Hongyuan owns 49% of Air Belgium and 44% of Jiangxi Cargo Airlines.
The group has rapidly grown its own-controlled freighter fleet in the past year, acquiring a pair of 2013-vintage 747-8Fs (37562 and 37563) and assigning them to Air Belgium for CMI operation earlier this year, and more recently placing its first A330-200P2F (832) with the airline.
For its part, Jiangxi Cargo Airlines earlier this year signaled its desire to expand its A330 freighter fleet with either production or converted freighters with one delivery in 2023 and the other in 2024, according to an invitation to tender. The new carrier will soon lease its first A330-300P2F from CDB Aviation.
IAI recently told Cargo Facts that it expects the first flight of the 2005-vintage ex-Emirates conformity aircraft (32789) in November. The aircraft was originally inducted in 2021 and will be operated by Kalitta Air after IAI earns certification for its program.
AerCap, a co-investor in the 777-300ERSF program, said at Cargo Facts EMEA in May that the orderbook had reached the fifty-unit milestone.