Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) announced that it has received lately several inquiries for B747-400 conversion program. IAI sees this opportunities as an answer to a global need in the air freight market for a high volume freighter capacity which coincides with the low prices of fuel and no reasonable availability of parked aircraft in the “desert”.
IAI is the only company who maintains an active line of B747-400 conversions and delivered two aircraft of this type in 2017 to the South Korean Asiana Airlines, after having converted Twenty nine B747-400s to BDSF (Bedek Designed Special Freighter) configuration in 2005 to 2011. In 2017 IAI delivered eighteen B767-300 converted aircraft, which serve the IAI customers well in the booming E-commerce market and also converted three B737-700 NG aircraft as the only company in the world holding a 737-700 Conversion STC.
The conversion period of a B747-400 aircraft is about 120 days, which often used by most of the customers to set the maintenance clock to “0”, by doing a heavy check, Landing Gears or Engines replacements and any other avionic new installation, such as – Flat Panels, SATCOM etc.
Bedek customers for cargo conversions are Airlines who own the assets and for Lessors who leased the cargo aircraft to an airline/operators for another 15-20 years of service creating revenue for both sides and providing the high cargo capacity demand in the market.
IAI’s EVP & Bedek GM, Mr. Yosi Melamed, said, “Bedek Group is always adjusting the conversion products as per customer and market needs, using our highly skilled engineering and famous flexibility to create a “tailor made” solution which provides an added value to our customers, leasing companies as well as airlines”.