Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) on 17 April signed an agreement with Sharp Technics K and Incheon International Airport Corporation, to establish a facility for the passenger-to-freighter conversion of Boeing 777-300ERSF aircraft ,dubbed the Big Twin, in South Korea.
IAI said the move comes amidst ‘expected’ demand for wide-body freighter aircraft capable of long-haul flights, such as the 777, which can carry up to 100 tonnes when converted for cargo use.
IAI signed a cooperation agreement with launch customer AerCap to convert the B777-300ERSF aircraft back in 2019. It started the structural modification phase in April 2021
The company plans to convert Boeing B777-300ER aircraft starting 2024. It has successfully completed a test flight and is now in the final stages of receiving the necessary licensing approval, a process that is expected to be concluded within the year.
Analysts say the 777’s load and flight range capabilities, as well as the fuel savings that the aircraft will permit, will make it one of the more popular jets to convert for cargo. IAI also modifies other Boeing aircraft like the 747, 767 and 737 model.
The signing ceremony took place at South Korea’s Incheon International Airport, in the presence of senior officials and representatives of each of the companies.