Boeing has announced a new partnership with MRO provider COOPESA (Cooperativa Autogestionaria de Servicios Aeroindustriales) to add more freighter conversion capacity for the 737-800 in Latin America over the next few years.
The US-based aircraft manufacturer predicts demand to reach 1,500 freighter conversions over the next 20 years thanks to growing demand from express and e-commerce markets. Boeing forecasts nearly 30 percent of that demand coming from North and Latin America, with around 1,080 standard-body conversions.
It will open two conversion lines with COOPESA in Alajuela starting early 2022, with the second expected to follow later in the same year.
The aerospace company has secured 180 orders and commitments for the 737-800BCF. It entered the converted version into service in 2018 and has redelivered its 50th conversion of the type last March.
Boeing predicts 1,500 freighter conversions will be needed over the next 20 years to meet the growing demand for express and e-commerce markets. Around 1,080 will be standard-body conversions, it forecasts, with nearly 30 percent of that demand coming from North America and Latin America.
Most of the B737-800 jets that Boeing are converting to freighters are in China. It set up three locations, including Shanghai with Boeing Shanghai Aviation Services (BSAS), Guangzhou with GAMECO, and Jinan with Taikoo (Shandong) Aircraft Engineering Co. Ltd.