Boeing expands freighter conversion capacity

In 2022, Boeing will add two 737-800BCF conversion lines at Taikoo (Shandong) Aircraft Engineering Co. Ltd’s (STAECO) facility at Jinan Yaoqiang International Airport in China on the back of strong demand.

The first new line will open in the first quarter of the year, with the second line expected to begin conversions by mid-year.

Once the two new lines are operational, STAECO will have seven conversion lines dedicated to the 737-800BCF.

Peter Gao, vice president, Boeing commercial sales and marketing for China, said: “STAECO has exhibited the expertise and track record of delivering quality freighter conversions and will play a critical role in helping Boeing meet our customer commitments today and in the future.”

This year, Boeing announced it would create additional 737-800BCF conversion capacity at several sites, including with existing supplier Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Company Limited (GAMECO), and with new suppliers Cooperativa Autogestionaria de Servicios Aeroindustriales (COOPESA) in Costa Rica, KF Aerospace in Canada, and Boeing’s London Gatwick MRO facility in the UK.

The 737-800BCF offers higher reliability, lower fuel consumption, and lower operating costs per trip compared to other standard-body freighters, said Boeing.

Boeing forecasts 1,720 freighter conversions will be needed over the next 20 years. Of those, 1,200 will be standard body conversions with Asia carriers accounting for 40% of that demand.

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