Aeronautical Engineers, Inc. (AEI) has received ETOPS 180 approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for its B737-800SF freighter conversion.
This latest development will allow the 23.9-tonne-capacity twin-engine freighter to fly extended 180 minutes over water and remote regions. AEI says this will open operational routes in areas like Northern Africa and Western China.
AEI is the only conversion house to have gained ETOPS approval for the 737-800 platform. The B737-800SF in particular has been popular with aircraft leasing firms.
Bulgarian cargo operator Compass Cargo Airlines started operating B737-800SF flights in August last year. The aircraft is on lease from lessor GA Telesis, who earlier in March 2021 delivered a similar freighter jet to be operated by Ethiopian Airlines.
AEI’s Robert T. Convey, senior vice president of sales and marketing, noted that the ETOPS 180 approval will provide its customers with more opportunities to expand their routes and service the growing demand for air cargo.