Hong Kong-based leasing firm CALC is to acquire its first converted Boeing 737-800 freighter, modified by US company Aeronautical Engineers.

CALC had signalled last year that it was looking to capitalise on the increasing demand for freighter conversions, after it picked up three Airbus A330-300s in a sale-and-leaseback deal.

The 737-800 agreement involves a 20-year old airframe, MSN30516, which was originally delivered to Air China in 2002.

Modification of the twinjet for cargo transport will commence at the end of July, says CALC, and the aircraft will be delivered to the lessor in October.

Chinese overhaul and modification specialist STAECO – which is located in Shandong – will provide labour and maintenance services.

AEI CALC conversion B-2672-c-Kentaro Iemoto Creative Commons

Source: Kentaro Iemoto/Creative Commons

AEI’s conversion for CALC will involve this former Air China 737-800

“We shall develop this freighter business further as it enables us to exploit, in full, the utility of our aircraft assets to serve the escalating demand for cargo capacities globally,” says CALC chief Mike Poon.

He says the company is “enriching” its sustainable aftermarket and end-of-life offerings as part of its environmental strategy.

Aeronautical Engineers’ 737-800SF conversion creates a freighter with a large cargo door, Ancra cargo loading system, and a main-deck payload of up to 23.9t.