Boeing has announced the launch of the Next-Generation B737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) with orders and commitments for up to 55 conversions from seven customers. The first B737-800BCF is expected to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2017.
The B737-800BCF – the first Next-Generation B737 that Boeing has offered for conversion – carries up to 23.9 tonnes of cargo flying routes of nearly 2,000 nautical miles (3,690 kilometers). While large freighters carry high-density cargo on long-range routes, the B737-800BCF will primarily be used to carry express cargo on domestic routes.
Among the 30 firm orders are a number of Chinese carriers including: Hangzhou-based YTO Airlines with orders for 10 conversions and commitments for 10 more; Beijing-based China Postal Airlines; and commitments from Shenzhen-based SF Airlines.
Other orders and commitments came from GE Capital Aviation (GECAS), which has ordered five conversions; Cargo Air, based in Sofia, Bulgaria and un-named customers.
“While the recovery of the global cargo market has been slow, we see demand for freighters, such as the 737-800BCF, that will carry express cargo on domestic routes,” said Stan Deal, senior vice president, Commercial Aviation Services, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Over the next 20 years, Boeing forecasts customers will need more than 1,000 converted freighters the size of the 737, with China’s domestic air freight carriers accounting for nearly one-third of the total market.”