More B737-800BCF orders as ASL expands its cargo fleet

By Damian Brett

ASL CGI B737-800BCF

ASL Aviation Holdings and Boeing signed a Memorandum of Understanding for 20 of the increasingly popular 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) at the Paris Airshow.

The agreement includes 10 firm orders and 10 purchase rights and follows the aircraft operator leasing two of the aircraft over recent months.

“Having operated two leased 737-800BCFs across our wide European network, we are very pleased with how the flexibility and reliability of these freighters fulfill our operational needs in meeting our customer requirements,” said Hugh Flynn, Chief Executive, ASL Aviation Holdings.

“The aircraft is highly efficient and right-sized for our developing operations on behalf of our express cargo customers who are experiencing growing demand. The 737-800BCF will also give us access to new markets.”

“This order is a great testimonial of the unique capabilities of a 737-800 converted freighter. ASL Aviation has seen firsthand how this platform is perfectly suited to fly express cargo on domestic and short haul routes. We are honored that ASL Aviation is growing its business with the 737-800BCF,” said Ihssane Mounir, senior vice president of Commercial Sales & Marketing for The Boeing Company.

“With more operators seeking out the 737-800BCF, we are looking to expand our conversion capacity to support our customers and their growth plans.”

Boeing recently inaugurated new conversion lines at Boeing Shanghai Aviation Services (BSAS) and Taikoo (Shandong) Aircraft Engineering Company (STAECO), while it is also looking to expand further.

The programme is committed to more than double 737-800BCF output this year, going from eight conversions in 2018 to 17 in 2019.

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.

Earlier this week GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) signed an agreement with Boeing at the airshow exercising 10 purchase rights to firm orders and adding 15 more purchase rights for the B737-800BCF.

Shortly after the deal was announced e-commerce firm Amazon announced it will lease a further 15 B737-800 converted freighters from GECAS, on top of the five it already has from the company.

With reports suggesting that ASL provides capacity in Europe for Amazon, speculation is likely to suggest the latest ASL order is linked to the e-commerce company.

Boeing predicts that 2,650 freighters will be delivered between 2018-2037, with more than 60% of these deliveries comprised of passenger-to-freighter conversions.

Already operating on four continents (Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America) after entering service last year, the 737-800BCF is certified by various global regulators: the US Federal Aviation Administration, the European Aviation Safety Agency, the Civil Aviation Administration of China, and Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency.

The 737-800BCF carries more payload – up to 23.9 tonnes (52,800 lbs.) – and flies farther – 2,000 nautical miles (3,750 km) compared to 737 Classic freighters. It also offers operators improved fuel efficiency, lower operating cost, and higher reliability than previous standard-body freighters.

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