The Bedek division of Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) plans to increase its co-operation with China's Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance Engineering (GAMECO), under which the latter would become an Asian modification centre for IAI's Boeing 747-400 cargo-conversion programme.

GAMECO already has a agreement to undertake 737-300 freighter conversions, and according to IAI corporate vice-president and Bedek general manager David Arzi, it is planned that the facility will later be used for 747-400s. "When we have a customer for the 747-400 in Asia, this facility will be used for the conversion," he says.

IAI is beginning work on its first 747-400 modification at its facility in Tel Aviv, Israel. The modification is due to be certificated early next year.

Meanwhile, GAMECO engineers are currently training in Tel Aviv for the 737 conversion. "We are now offering 737 slots for 2008 and 2009. We need the facility in China," says Arzi.

Source: Flight International