The new Boeing 737-800BCF freighter conversion features 12 pallet positions on the main deck. (Image: Boeing)
Sweden-based West Atlantic Group will operate the plane, which it expects will “improve reliability, lower aircraft operating costs and provide a better environmental footprint.”
Boeing delivered its first 737-800 passenger plane converted to freighter service this week to GE Capital Aviation Services.
The plane will be operated by Sweden-based West Atlantic Group.
“With the 737-800 BCF, we expect to improve reliability, lower aircraft operating costs and provide a better environmental footprint,” said Fredrik Groth, West Atlantic’s chief executive, in a statement.
West Atlantic will receive four more 737-800 freighters in the next 11 months and, once delivered, the company will operate 23 Boeing 737 freighter aircraft.
The 737-800 freighters can transport up to 23.9 tons of cargo. Boeing said the plane, which was introduced to the passenger market in the mid-1990s, will be primarily used to carry express cargo on domestic or short-haul routes.
Boeing has so far received 45 orders and commitments for the 737-800 converted freighters from seven carriers, including YTO Airlines of Hangzhou, China; China Postal Airlines, based in Beijing; Ireland’s GECAS; Air Algerie of Algeria; LAS Cargo, based in Bogota, Colombia; Bulgaria’s Cargo Air; and another soon to be announced airline.
Boeing said it will convert the 737-800 passenger planes at facilities located near “conversion demand,” including Boeing Shanghai Aviation Services Co. Ltd. and Taikoo (Shandong) Aircraft Engineering Co. Ltd., both of China.
Modifications to the Boeing 737-800s include installing a large main-deck cargo door, a cargo-handling system and accommodations for up to four non-flying crew members or passengers.