Kalitta Air gets dibs on ‘Big Twin’ freighter with GECAS Cargo deal

Kalitta Air, which operates an all-cargo fleet of 747-400Fs, 767-300SFs and 777Fs, expects delivery of three 777-300ERSF in 2023.


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The 777-300ERSF shares extensive commonality with the production 777-200LRF. (Credit: GECAS)

Last week GECAS Cargo announced a lease agreement with Kalitta Air for three 777-300ERSF aircraft, allowing the Michigan-based all-cargo airline to be the first operator of the new passenger-to-freighter (P2F) conversion. 

Dubbed “The Big Twin,” the 777-300ERSF will be the largest twin-engine freighter powered by the “most powerful in-service engine GE90, which is expected to cut fuel burn by 20 percent compared to its quad engine counterparts like the 747-400F. 

As the only source of the engine for 777 variants, GE Aviation will support engine and aircraft maintenance throughout the lifecycle of the converted freighters. 

Also read: More orders expected as first A321 converted freighter enters service

Announced a year ago, the 777-300ERSF conversion programme is jointly funded by GECAS and Israel Aerospace Industries, and the aviation lessor is confident about the freighter’s potential. 

“The 777-300ERSF shares extensive commonality with the production 777-200LRF. That’s a benefit to any operator looking to bring a new type into their fleet, said Rich Greener, SVP and manager at GECAS Cargo. 

“GECAS Cargo has developed a new standard for aviation lessors, leveraging our fleet of passenger aircraft to provide freighter conversion feedstock—for this 777-300ERSF program as well as converting 737-800NGs,” he added. 

“This approach extends the useful life of our aircraft and GE/CFM engines while meeting the need for replacements of retiring freighters and increased demand for dedicated cargo capacity.” 

Kalitta Air, which operates a fleet of 747-400Fs, 767-300SFs and 777Fs, expects delivery of these three freighters in 2023. The all-cargo airline offers charters as well as scheduled air cargo services to Canada, Europe, Middle East/Sub-Indian continent, and Hong Kong.



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