China Postal Airlines has placed an order with Boeing for 10 Next-Generation 737 Boeing Converted Freighters (BCFs) and joins China’s Hangzhou-based YTO Airlines (which ordered 15 of the aircraft) as a launch customer for the BCF programme which has yet to be formally launched. China Postal also purchased seven B757-200s that the airline plans to convert into freighters, making this the largest purchase order in the airline’s history.
“This is a historic order both for China Postal and Boeing,” said Yufeng Li, president of China Postal Airlines, who signed the agreement with Boeing at a ceremony today in Beijing. “The 737-800 BCF will bring to our freighter fleet more advanced avionics, better fuel efficiency and lower operating costs that will ensure China Postal’s continued success as a leader in the industry.”
The 737-800 is the first Next-Generation B737 that Boeing will offer for conversion. Through the B737 BCF programme, Boeing will support customers in the narrow-body freighter market, a segment of the freighter market growing quickly around the world.
“We are honored that China Postal Airlines has put their trust in Boeing as they expand their freighter fleet,” said Rick Anderson, vice president, sales and marketing, Boeing Commercial Aviation Services. “We are committed to this programme, which addresses a growing need in the market,” he added saying Boeing is currently working closely with multiple customers in China and around the world on the programme.
The China air express market is forecast to be among the fastest growing segments of the world air cargo market. According to the Boeing World Air Cargo Forecast, world air cargo traffic will grow 4.7 per cent per year over the next 20 years, with domestic China and intra-Asia markets expanding 6.7 per cent and 6.5 per cent per year, respectively.
“With its express market growing at a double-digit rate fueled by e-commerce, China has surpassed the United States to become the number one e-commerce market in the world,” said Ihssane Mounir, senior vice president, Northeast Asia sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
China Postal Airlines operates express mail and cargo transport services mainly for China Post to over 300 domestic destinations and in 2006 introduced international scheduled services to South Korea and Japan. From January 2007 international cargo charter services were added. The carrier is owned by Chinese Postal Bureau (51per cent) and China Southern Airlines (49 per cent) and has its main hub at Nanjing Lukou International Airport. Its current fleet consists of 12 B737-300Fs, two B737-300QC, eight B737-400F and four B757-200F.