Bedek Aviation Group, the specialist modification division of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), is to concentrate on Boeing 777 freighter conversions following a feasibility study.

Bedek, based at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport, has focused primarily on the Boeing 747-400, 767 and 737 for freighter modification work.

However Jack Gaber, IAI's deputy vice-president and general manager of marketing and business development at the Bedek group, confirmed the 777 is being selected for the company's new conversion line.

Gaber said the entry into service of the Boeing 787 and, in 2013, the Airbus A350 will bring several 777s into the market.

"We will be ready when the time is right to offer that conversion," he added.

The company has forecast a moderation in the market in 2012 owing to lack of availability of 767-300s.

Boeing already offers the 777 as a new-build freighter which, by the end of September 2011, had accumulated 114 orders, including 12 from undisclosed customers.

"We see [the 777] as a big potential market for us," said Gaber. The company has also looked at the possibility of Airbus A330 conversions.

Bedek aims to complete conversion of more than 20 747s and 767s at its main site this year, while conversions of a number of 737s are being undertaken through its supplemental type certificate at Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance Engineering in China.

Source: Flight International