By Brendan Sobie in Singapore
China's Taikoo Aircraft Engineering (TAECO) has completed converting into freighter configuration the first of at least eight Boeing 747-400s for Japan Airlines (JAL).
Xiamen-based TAECO and Boeing held a re-delivery ceremony for the aircraft on Monday and JAL says it will be flown to Japan on 3 June, following Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) certification and ground operation tests.
Boeing says it is the second aircraft to be converted under the new 747-400 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) programme, following the delivery of the first 747-400BCF to launch customer Cathay Pacific Airways in December.
TAECO says it is now operating three 747-400BCF conversion lines. The third 747-400BCF will be delivered at the end of June to Cathay, which has an outstanding order for five aircraft plus options on another six. TAECO says the fourth 747-400BCF will be delivered in early August to Korean Air (KAL), which has seven 747-400BCFs on order but will convert the other six at its own facility.
JAL has seven more 747-400BCFs on firm order and holds options for another four aircraft. SIA Engineering (and not ST Aero as previously reported) has acquired conversion kits from Boeing to carry out conversions on SIA aircraft.
Source: Flight International