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.

777-300ERSF Air & Cargo Services air cargo Air Cargo Asia air cargo freight Air Forwarding air freight Air Freight Asia Air Freight Logistics air freighter air freighting Air Logistics Asia Air Shipping Asia airlines cargo airways cargo asia cargo news cargo aviation GECAS Kalitta Air passenger-to-freighter conversion

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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