Israel Aerospace Industries‘ (IAI) Aviation Group has signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with Incheon International Airport and MRO services provider Sharp Technics K to establish a passenger-to-freighter (P2F) conversion site for the B777-ERSF (Big Twin) in South Korea.
Under the agreement, IAI will convert six B777-300ER and B777-200LR per year, starting in 2024. The conversion specialist forecasts more P2F facilities being established given the expected rise in demand for wide-body aircraft for long haul cargo flights.
IAI says it is working around the clock on the B777 P2F conversion prototype and is expected to conclude the licensing process during 2023. In April, the company together with GECAS completed the halfway phase of the supplemental type certificate (STC) development programme for the prototype.
The B777 model joins other known aircraft for cargo conversion, including the B747, B767, B737NG, and the B737 classic.
“By attracting the first overseas production base of IAI’s large-sized cargo aircraft to the Incheon Airport MRO cluster, which exclusively possesses the technology for retrofitting Boeing’s large passenger aircraft, we will grow together and contribute greatly to the development of the national and regional economy,” said Kim Kyung-wook, president of Incheon International Airport Corporation said,
Soon-Suk Paik, CEO & president of Sharp Technics K, comments, “the conversion of cargo aircraft requires tremendous investment costs, advanced technology, international certifications, and skilled aviation maintenance personnel, which reflect the high barriers to entry in the MRO industry,” said.
“Although STK is a private company, as a member of the aviation industry, we will do our best in the private sector with the vision of contributing to the development and national interests of the Korean aviation industry,” he added.