IBA warns of 737-800 freighter oversupply

Aviation consultant IBA has warned that there could be an oversupply of Boeing 737-800 converted aircraft.

The consultant pointed to IBA Insight data showing that 200 737-800 aircraft have been converted into a freighter configuration in the six years since work on the first aircraft was completed.

This is the fastest rate of conversion for any programme and compares to the 15 years it took the 757-200 P2F and 767-300ER P2F fleets 15 years to reach this size.

The total 737-800 P2F fleet is on course to surpass the 757-200 P2F fleet of 311 aircraft, which IBA believes suggests a risk of oversupply based on the rapid fleet growth.

“Indeed, the 737-800 continues to lead the narrowbody conversion market, with conversions of the A321-200 remaining steady as expected – with 20 planned for this year,” the consultant said.

However, Robert Convey of conversion firm AEI recently said that leasing companies were now slowing orders of converted narrowbody aircraft.

“While the narrowbody conversion market demand from leasing companies has slowed over the last few months, new orders for our B737-800SF freighter coming directly from operators continues to remain strong,” he said.

In the widebody market, Boeing 767-300ER conversions continue to outpace A330-300s, which IBA Insight forecasts to be 30 and seven respectively in 2023.

For the active widebody freighter fleet, the Boeing 777F continues to grow its leading position with a fleet of 240 in July 2023.

The 767-300F was ranked close behind with 228, but the MD-11F has declined to 84 freighters in July 2023.

“Turning to lease rates, converted narrowbody values and Lease Rates have softened compared to widebodies which are tighter in supply,” IBA said.

“This is exemplified by the A330-300P2F, which had a lease rate of $351,000 per month in January of this year. By July, it had increased by almost 3% to $361,000.”


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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]