Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has signed a contract with GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) for the conversion of passenger aircraft into cargo configuration. Under the "Big Twin" deal, IAI will initially convert fifteen wide-body, 2-engine Boeing 777-300ER airplanes. The first aircraft is due for delivery to GECAS in 2022. The agreement provides an option for 15 additional conversions in the future.
IAI did not provide financial details of the contract, but says that its value is in the hundreds of million dollars.
GECAS is an aircraft leasing and financing unit of General Electric (GE). It serves some 250 customers in over 75 countries.
Aircraft conversion is one of the main activities of IAI’s Aviation Group, which was set up this year as an amalgamation of three existing divisions within IAI. Among the Groups’ customers are Amazon, DHL and UPS.
Yosi Melamed, IAI EVP and general manager of the Aviation Group said, "During the last 40 years IAI has accumulated vast experience and won a reputation in the conversion niche, which includes cargo conversions of Boeing 747, 767, 737NG and the classic 737, which has placed us as a cargo conversion house and world leader. The cargo conversion business grows year by year thanks to the extensive demand for e-commerce. The collaboration with GECAS, which started over 20 years ago, has already proved its worth in over 70 conversions."
Richard Greener, SVP and manager of GECAS Cargo said, "We are excited to collaborate with IAI on this program. Their proven experience, knowledge, and unique engineering skill and resources in passenger to freighter conversion - combined with our working relationship with IAI stretching back into the 1990’s -gives us the confidence to co-fund the STC Development and committing to the Program as a Launch Customer of the B777-300ERSF."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on October 17, 2019
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