Airline cargo operations are continuing to play a critical role in facilitating international trade, with many industry forecasts showing an increase in demand for widebody freighter aircraft. Abu Dhabi-based MRO, Etihad Engineering, has responded to this demand with a partnership with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), to provide passenger-to-freighter (P2F) conversions on the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft type.
In 2019, IAI and GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) announced the launch of the Boeing 777-300ERSF, a P2F conversion they nicknamed ‘The Big Twin’, denoting its status as the largest-ever twin-engined freighter. Etihad Engineering will capitalise on the specialised Boeing 777-300ERSF conversion, and in the initial stage of the partnership, will make available two conversion lines that can accommodate multiple aircraft conversions per year.
Tony Douglas, group CEO of Etihad Aviation Group said, “The Boeing 777-300ERSF is not only extremely attractive to customers but a technological breakthrough, given that it’s the first in its size category to offer extensive cargo solutions. Not only do we see the demand, but we view it as a greener, more profitable, highly innovative solution for our airline customers, and an excellent way to drive value for our business.”
Boaz Levy, president & CEO of Israel Aerospace Industries added, “Establishing the conversion site in partnership with Etihad Engineering is a testament to IAI’s strong ties with the UAE and strengthens its foothold in the region. I am confident that this agreement will lead to many more partnerships with local companies in the Gulf States, which will grow our business in the region.”