Ethiopian Cargo, the cargo division of the Ethiopian Airlines Group, will lease the first two 737-800 freighters converted by Aeronautical Engineers, Inc. (AEI), from aviation leasing and financing company GECAS. The first delivery is set for June 2018, followed by a second in January 2019.
The initial two passenger-to-freighter (P2F) conversions were originally slated to go to ASL Aviation, however with this latest announcement, ASL Aviation said it will take its redeliveries later.
“The aircraft will be a great complement to our existing fleet of 777 and 757 freighters,” said Tewolde Gebremariam, Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO. Gebremariam added that the carrier was expanding its cargo fleet and network to support trade within Africa, and globally, by facilitating the export of perishables and the import of high-value goods into the continent.
Ethiopian Cargo joins a growing number of combination carriers that have opted for 737-800 P2F conversions.
The AEI-converted freighter accommodates eleven full-height containers plus one AEP/AEH and a main-deck payload of up to 23,587 kilograms. The freighters also feature AEI’s hydraulically-operated cargo doors, offering numerous key features to cargo operators.