GECAS, IAI launch 777-300ER freighter
- 17 October 2019 -
Aircraft lessor GECAS and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) have launched a passenger to freighter conversion programme for the Boeing 777-300ER, named '777-300ERSF' (SF=Special Freighter).
The programme is dubbed 'The Big Twin' because it is the largest ever twin-engined freighter. The project is jointly funded by GECAS and IAI. GECAS will provide IAI with a prototype aircraft.
As launch customer and co-funder of the 777-300ERSF, GECAS will place a firm order for fifteen conversions, including the prototype, plus fifteen options. The conversion of initial aircraft is expected to take place in Tel Aviv, with further conversion lines contemplated in locations elsewhere from 2023. IAI is allowed to conclude agreements itself with airlines and other lessors around the world.
The 777-300ERSF STC development and prototype conversion is estimated to take over three years from the start of the programme to achieving CAAI/FAA approval. Subsequent aircraft will average four to five months to convert.
The Big Twin will offer operators more freight capacity than smaller freighters and GECAS and IAI claim 21 percent lower fuel-burn per tonne than ageing four-engine aircraft. GECAS and IAI are decades-long partners. IAI is well-known for its passenger to freighter conversions, which include the Boeing 747, 767, 737NG and the 737 Classic. It has completed more than seventy conversions of GECAS’ aircraft. (Image: GECAS)