IAI’s Aviation Group has signed an agreement with aircraft lessor World Star Aviation to convert 10 B737-800 passenger aircraft to cargo configuration.
The orders come with an option for 10 more. The narrow-body jets will be converted at IAI’s partially-owned Chinese subsidiary Bedek Lingyun (Yichang) Aircraft Maintenance Engineering or Belinco in China’s central province of Hubei as well as other locations.
Executive vice president and general manager of IAI Aviation Group, Shmuel Kuzi, cited the increased demand for cargo jets given the rise in e-commerce shipments.
World Star Aviation, meanwhile, sees the agreement as a strategic next step in the expansion of its global freighter fleet as part of its partnership with asset management firm Oaktree Capital Management.
“We see the 737-800 as the backbone of the short haul and feeder freight services. This agreement with IAI compounds our plans to grow our narrow body fleet and complements our wide-body freight strategy,” said Yoram Allalouf, one of the directors of the group.
World Star Aviation is a leading aircraft lessor, specializing in mid-life aircraft and engine leasing/trading for both passenger and freighter airlines worldwide. It provides asset and investment management services with ‘end-to-end’ aircraft marketing and technical capabilities.