Etihad Cargo mulls B777 freighter conversions

Photo: Etihad Cargo

Etihad Cargo is considering converting some of its B777 passenger aircraft into freighters.

Speaking to Air Cargo News on the sidelines of the World Cargo Summit, Etihad Airways vice president cargo commercial Tim Isik explained that the carrier had five B777s that were planned to be retired but had been called into action to meet demand following delays to the delivery of newer aircraft.

“These aircraft are currently active in our fleet and there is a question as to whether we could look at some conversions to boost our freighter fleet while we are waiting for some A350 freighters to be delivered,” he said.

However, he added that discussions on the possible conversion were at an early stage and with the aircraft in use and the time it takes to convert them, it could be a while until any work is carried out.

If Etihad decided to pursue the conversion of the aircraft, Etihad Engineering has a partnership with IAI on conversion lines in Abu Dhabi, which includes work on the B777 freighter.

Last year, Etihad Cargo made the headlines when it became one of the first carriers to order the recently launched Airbus A350F.

In total, the carrier ordered seven of the 109 tonne capacity aircraft with deliveries expected to begin in 2026.

The aircraft are in line with Etihad’s sustainability ambitions and fully meet ICAO’s enhanced CO₂ emissions standards that will come into effect in 2027.

Earlier in the day, Etihad Aviation Group senior vice president sales and cargo Martin Drew said that the carrier had “returned to growth mode” on the passenger side with its A380s due to re-join the fleet this year along with the delivery of more B787 Dreamliners.

In terms of freighters, the airline currently operates five B777Fs.

IAI expands B777 freighter conversion programme with Etihad partnership

Etihad Cargo: Partnerships key as industry faces overcapacity and lower predictability

Etihad Airways firms up order for seven Airbus A350F freighters

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Damian Brett

Damian Brett
I have been writing about the freight and logistics industry since 2007 when I joined International Freighting Weekly to cover the shipping sector.After a stint in PR, I have gone on to work for Containerisation International and Lloyds List - where I was editor of container shipping - before joining Air Cargo News in 2015.Contact me on [email protected]