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.
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.