GECAS orders 10 more B737-800 converted freighters

By Damian Brett

Gecas B737-800BCF

GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) signed an agreement with Boeing at the Paris Air Show exercising 10 purchase rights to firm orders and adding 15 more purchase rights for the 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF).

“Our leasing customers are very pleased with the versatility and reliability of these freighters,” said Richard Greener, SVP and Manager, GECAS Cargo. “It’s enabling operators to replace aging freighters and meet the rapidly growing express cargo market.”

The lessor recently placed a B737-800F within the Amazon Air fleet, with the aircraft operated by Atlas Air. Four more of the aircraft are due to join the e-commerce company’s fleet this year and it has options to add another 15 of the aircraft.

The 737-800BCF, which is making its air show debut at Le Bourget this week, is Boeing’s newest freighter product. The company converts Next-Generation 737 passenger airplanes into cargo jets that are capable of carrying more payload – up to 23.9 tonnes (52,800 lbs) – and flying farther – 2,000 nautical miles (3,750 km) – than previous standard-body freighters.

Today’s order is the third time that GECAS has purchased Boeing’s newest freighter since the programme was announced in 2016. GECAS, the commercial aircraft leasing and financing arm of General Electric now has 65 orders and options for the 737-800BCF.

“GECAS has a great pulse on the leasing market and what air freight operators are looking for in their cargo fleet. It is an honor to have GECAS place three orders for the 737-800BCF in as many years,” said Ihssane Mounir, senior vice president of Commercial Sales & Marketing for The Boeing Company. “We are excited to expand our partnership with GECAS and we look forward to delivering more converted freighters to support their customers.”

The 737-800BCF offers operators newer technology, lower fuel consumption and better reliability than other standard-body freighters. It is primarily used to carry express cargo on domestic / short haul routes.

Boeing delivered the first in-service 737-800BCF to GECAS leasing customer West Atlantic AB last year. Boeing has delivered 14 737-800BCFs to date.

Orders for the B737-800F are beginning to take off as operators and lessors look for alternatives to the B737 classics, which are seeing feedstock begin to dry up.

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