IAI strikes deal for US Boeing 777-300ER freighter conversion line
26 / 09 / 2023
The test flight of the 777-300ER. Photo: IAI
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has signed a deal with Ascent Aviation Services to carry out Boeing 777-300ER passenger-to-freighter (P2F) conversions.
Air Cargo News (ACN) has received confirmation of the partnership from Scott Butler, chief commercial officer at Ascent Aviation Services.
As part of a 15-year agreement, Ascent Aviation Services will carry out the modification work at its facilities in Marana, Arizona.
Air Cargo News broke the news that the conversion firm was on the hunt for a US line in July last year as it looked to meet strong demand for the 777 conversion.
ACN’s sister title FlightGlobal said two lines of 777-300ER conversions will be implemented and Ascent will build two widebody hangars to support the programme. Pre-construction work on the hangars is underway.
IAI chief executive Boaz Levy said the agreement with Ascent “underscores the confidence” that it has in the US firm’s ability to meet the required timetable, and carry out the first conversion next year.
The B777-300ERSF, also known as ‘The Big Twin’, is the first passenger-to-freighter aircraft conversion programme of the B777-300ER.
In March, IAI carried out the first flight of its Boeing 777-300ERSF converted freighter for lessor AerCap.
Then in April, IAI signed an agreement with Sharp Technics K and Incheon International Airport Corporation to establish a 777-300ERSF conversion facility at South Korea’s Incheon Airport from 2024.
IAI says it expects to secure certification of the freighter from the US FAA as well as the Israeli civil aviation regulator this year. It states that the process is “in the final stages”.