Passenger-to-freighter conversion programme aimed at 2007 entry into service

Boeing is confident it will launch its passenger-to-freighter conversion programme for 767-300-series aircraft before the end of the year, which would enable deliveries to begin in late 2007.

The manufacturer is branding the 767-300 conversion the “Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF)” – a description it also applies to the former 747-400SF – to underline it is a programme fully supported by Boeing, the company’s vice-president freighter conversions, Mike Stewart, told the Cargo Facts 2005 conference in Seattle last month.

“We’re talking to customers about the programme,” said Stewart, but he warned that as the 767-300 is still popular in passenger service “feedstock for the conversion programme is low”.

Boeing was due to seek authority to offer the modification from the board last week, which would set the launch criteria in terms of numbers of orders and customers. “We’re aiming for a launch by year-end and entry into service in late 2007,” said Stewart.

Although he declined to name potential customers, All Nippon Airways’ requirements are believed to be central to the launch plans. The Japanese carrier is considering adding converted 767-300Fs to its cargo arm following the split from Nippon Cargo Airlines. United Parcel Service is also seen as potential customer.

Boeing already offers a conversion for the smaller 767-200 series, with the modifications being undertaken by Aeronavali in Italy and Singapore Technologies Aerospace in Mobile, Alabama. “We’re talking to Aeronavali and others about the -300, but have not issued a request for quotes yet to modification centres,” said Stewart.

It is intended that the 767-300BCF will be similar to the new-build 767-300 freighter. The maximum revenue payload will be 39.5t for the non-ER version, increasing to 46.7t for the ER. It will be able to carry up to 24, 88 x 125in (2.23 x 3.18m) pallets on its main deck.

A rival 767-300 conversion is being offered by Israel Aircraft Industries, but this has yet to be launched.


Source: Flight International