Egyptair has taken delivery of its first Boeing 737-800 cargo jet following the jet’s conversion from passenger configuration by an independent supplier, but the company is now considering a new business rebuilding the aircraft type for dedicated cargo operations at its own maintenance repair facility.
Egyptair recently received the 737-800 converted freighter from Miami-based Aeronautical Engineers Inc., which designed and built the modification kit, confirmed Robert Convey, AEI’s senior vice president of sales and marketing. It is expected to enter service soon. Actual production was carried out by Commercial Jet, a provider of aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul services also based in Miami.
The Egyptian Civil Aviation Authority in December approved a supplemental certification for AEI’s changes to the 737-800 airframe. Passenger-to-freighter conversions involve removing seats and other passenger equipment, installing window plugs and a rigid barrier behind the cockpit, reinforcing the main deck floor, interior walls and wing box, cutting in a wide cargo door, and adding a container handling system.
The AEI configuration can hold 11 full-height containers, and a small unit, on the main deck.
And Egyptair is exploring whether to expand the capabilities of its maintenance and engineering unit to include cargo conversions, Aviation Daily reported. A conversion business would allow Egyptair to convert planes for other customers, as well as for its own use. It could become a licensed facility under the conversion programs managed by AEI, Boeing or Israel Aircraft Industries.
Egyptair Cargo plans to grow its freighter fleet and serve more markets after experiencing gains during the COVID period. The company currently operates three Airbus A330-200 widebody cargo jets.
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