Israel Aerospace Industries' Bedek division is expecting a more moderate cargo conversion market in the short term, but the forecast for 2013 is for further growth.
"We could expect more growth in 2012 but there is not enough availability of Boeing 767-300s in the market for conversions," said Jack Gaber, IAI's corporate vice-president and general manager of marketing and business development at Bedek.
He added that the entry into service of the Boeing 787 will accelerate the retirement of many 767s. Bedek's main conversion lines are for the Boeing 747-400 and the 767-200/300.
This year Bedek will complete the conversion of over 20 767s and 747s at its facilities at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport.
Some Boeing 737s are being converted at the Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance Engineering (GAMECO) conversion site in China under the Bedek supplemental type certificate and supervision.
Gaber said that the group is also evaluating Boeing 777 conversions. "We see this type as a big potential market for us. We will start the programme when the time is right, but this without any doubt is our future conversion product."
Experts expect that the entry into service of the 787 and later of the Airbus A350 will bring many 777s to the cargo conversion market.