Taiwan’s EVA Air has selected Israel Aircraft Industries’ (IAI) Bedek division to convert at least four of its Boeing 747-400 Combis into Special Freighters (SF), with work due to begin in 2007. The deal includes options on two additional conversions, says the airline.

EVA operates nine 747-400 Combis and the first four earmarked for conversion are owned by the airline.

Bedek was chosen over Boeing, which has its own conversion programme, because it could “provide earlier slots for Combi conversions”.

EGAT chairman David Wang told Flight International sister online news service Air Transport Intelligence this year that EVA sister company Evergreen Aviation Technologies (EGAT) hopes to expand into the 747-400SF conversion business in 2007.

Boeing has already contracted EGAT to convert three 747-400 passenger aircraft into large cargo freighters (LCF).

Although IAI launched its 747-400SF programme in 2003, it did not announce its first customer deal until November 2004, with a contract from lessor Guggenheim Aviation Partners to modify two Combis.

Initial work is being carried out at IAI’s Tel Aviv plant, but the company has an agreement with China’s Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance Engineering (GAMECO), under which the latter would become an Asian modification centre for the programme.


Source: Flight International